One of my favourite quotes my friends use about me is:
“My teacher say it couldn’t be done, so my mum got me a new teacher!”
I apply this to must things in life, but today we’re going to apply it to networking groups. I tend to learn things the hard, I make all the mistakes so I can then show other people how not to make them, and recently I discovered networking was no different, so let me ask you.
Does your networking group give your business everything you need it to?
Right now, you’re probably thinking it’s just networking! But here’s the thing all networking groups are not created equally some are based on a brief introduction followed by a request for a service you need to push your business forward and others use a expert speaker and short chat approach. There’s nothing wrong with either approach, but if you want your networking to be truly effective, you should meet it with the same logical approach with which (hopefully) you make most business decisions.
Basic questions you could use are:
Who do I want to network with? Men? Women? Both? Corporate? Small Business owners?
What does my business need from my networking activities? Do I need to learn from experts? Do I need to source certain services? Do I just want to socialise within my industry and meet new contacts? Am I hoping they will buy from me?
Where and when do I want to network, In the morning? In the evening? In the pub? in a conference room?
The thing is in business we are often told we need to network in business, no-one really breaks down why? For example: are those people you mingled with at a networking event anymore likely to buy your product because they met you?
I recently came off a Facebook group, after someone posted the question has anyone gain a single sale because of posting here? It’s a simple enough question but one in 12 months I had never asked myself and I realised the answer was no and as it was an advertising group it wasn’t filling the purpose my business needed to. Sometimes its about the questions no-one asks till they do, we assess or sales process on the result and even our business on its financial results, so why shouldn’t we then apply this to our networking too?
To demonstrate this: I am going share my networking assessment and the reasons for it:
- I want to network with women – this is because my first networking group I was introduced to the group by an ex-boyfriend and you guessed it when we broke up, the networking group and any interest in my business broke up with me too, and in that moment I decided I wanted a female group where the possibly of that happening again was limited to none.
- I want to network with a variety of business from all kinds of backgrounds – because my product and services appeal to different businesses and their owners.
- I want to learn from expert speakers but in a relaxed environment.
- I want networking with varying times because my work schedule is far from set in stone.
- I want encouragement, as a business owner especially in publishing a lot of what I do is alone, every now and then I just need some encouragement and reassurance that I am not going crazy.
- A group that wouldn’t leave me because my ex was super nice – break ups are hard enough.
- A variety of businesses to sell to and to do business with.
- A variety of expert speakers in a relaxed environment
- I can choose the when and where and what clothes to wear!
Encouragement and support from other business owners that understand the struggles in business.
I found all the above and so much more with Her Business Revolution and was so passionate about how they deliver networking and training that I became an Area Manager.
So, what is it your business needs from your networking?
On Friday I will be doing short Q&A session on FB Live on networking email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org