Networking Events -- Which Event Or Organization Is the Right One for You?

Recently, I was talking with a business owner who was grumbling that networking was a waste of time. 
 
Every month they spend days and evening at numerous networking events but hadn't received any new business. Much to their despair, they've just experienced a shrinking wallet and a growing waistline from all those eggs & sausages and rubber chickens.
 
Do you sometimes feel like you're on a networking frenzy - bopping from one event to another hoping to make that "right" connection and make a sale?
Well, listen up - successful networking is more than attending a dozen events every month. Instead just pick a few that you can commit to and then invest your time to leverage it fully.
 
Think QUALITY over QUANTITY.
 
Remember networking is about building relationships - you need to be visible and make connections to get the best result from you time.  If you join a group you need to go consistently enough to build the relationship. Only attending once or twice a year won't work!
With time in such a high demand, how does one go about selecting the right networking group to join or event to attend? 
 
Consider:
 
The Mix of Attendees
  • are they people you connect with 
  • do they share or service your target market 
  • can you comfortably pass referrals to them 
  • do you have anything in common with other members 
  • does it fit your style - professional, casual, educational, fun etc.
Convenience - if you're joining a networking group this is essential.
  • is the location easy to get to 
  • is the day or time one you can attend consistently 
So before you join a group or run out the door to another networking event - STOP! and re-evaluate your efforts. Which have the best opportunities for you?
But don't forget - Networking isn't selling and it's what happens after the event that makes the real difference.
Make a personal commitment to follow up with everyone you have a conversation with and then pick one person to have a coffee with. It's a great way to expand your network and grow referrals. You'll gain increased visibility, have stronger connections, leverage your time AND get more business.

Comments

Great Post!

Sue, Great Post - Thank you, so important to focus on quality of group and if you/they are a good fit for your business objectives.