Formal or Informal — Both are Worthy Options
I was asked, “Do you recommend I join a networking group or, not?” Great question.
“It depends” If you’re fairly new to networking or not sure of how to do it well, then I
do recommend joining a BNI or similar group. If you can’t find or join a BNI or a local
networking group, go to meetup.com and search ‘business networking’ in your zip code.
Both offer you excellent options to ‘dive in’ to business networking and receive the kind
of support you’ll need to generate real value from your membership. You’ll learn better
in a group of supportive peers than you will by the old ‘trial-and-error’ approach.
The Free Radical or ‘Virtual’ Network Option
“But, if you know what you’re doing, you will likely find better results ‘going alone’.”
I’m a bicyclist. If you can’t ride, training wheels can help you learn. But, if you know how
to ride, training wheels will only slow you down. That’s true about networking, too.
Building a ‘virtual’ network, one that exists more in your mind than meets at a restaurant,
with only people you choose to invite, is the way to go IF . . . you’re ready and able to do it.
6 Factors That Help You Generate Clients & Revenues . . . for People Who Network
Regardless which way you choose to go, these factors must be in place to be productive:
BUYER with a need, challenge or problem . . . you can’t do business without one!
URGENCY . . . “the higher, the better” — like Jimi Hendrix used to say
SOLUTION . . . if this isn’t known, the Buyer’s problem will continue until it is
PROVIDER . . . You must be as well known as the solution a Buyer needs
PREFERENCE . . . one Provider wins the ‘roses and tiara’ in the end — I hope it’s you
CONNECTION . . . you and a prospect must find each other or nothing happens
No networking group can ‘create’ a market of people who urgently need a solution you
can provide. But, they should promote awareness of your existence, position you as a
‘best of the rest’ solution provider, and help you connect you with qualified Buyers.
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE . . . To Cultivate Relationships with This Insight:
Visit . . . several networking groups in your area to learn what you think about them
Speak . . . with people you know, like and trust about their thoughts and experience
with networking . . . what do they, knowing you, suggest you consider doing?
Revisit . . . your ‘top 3’ groups of interest and commit to attend more meetings to
participate fully in their activities and get a feeling for each group and people involved
Choose . . . the best networking group for you based on what you learned and invest
yourself fully as a member who brings and adds value as a way to gain it for yourself