As everyone knows, I have been in my own business for over 16 years. So, I consider myself pretty well versed in networking having gone to many different types of networking groups over the years.
I don’t go to many outside my own, unless I think in some way it will benefit our group, ETTM.
So, the other night I went to a women’s networking dinner (which was fun) and here is what I shared with this group of ladies:
1) Big doesnt always mean better. Just because a group has many people that show up, that does not necissarily mean it is better. I’ve found smaller intimate groups can produce more referrals, which in turn produce business because of the ability to connect more closely with people.
2) Price is only an issue in the absence of value. The least or the most expensive group doesn’t make the group better or worst. I do believe, however, that you do not have to spend a lot on a group to ensure it is a successful one. I also don’t believe free groups can produce a good return because there is no funding to grow and give back to the organization either.
The best groups have intimate circles and offer education as well as networking which is why we implement that in our ETTM.
3) Get to know one another. Lock arms with someone you view as a strategic partner and always listen more than you talk. Give first and give more and it will always come back.
Joining multiple groups is also a successful networking no no. I know you’re probably asking, why? Would I do better if I was a part of multiple organizations? Well, the simple answer would actually be a question, how many referrals are you able to give?
You see, if you promise more than you deliver it will come back to haunt you.
Focus your efforts into 1 or 2 groups you feel the best about; this would be the one/s with the most people you not only can relate to, but that you can honestly send referrals to.
Give of yourself to the group, if you want to get the best return, be around the most, volunteer more, tell everyone about the group and invite people to help it thrive.
Remember in any group or relationship… together, everyone achieves more!