Where should you be networking?

Where should you be networking?

Category: Networking

Where should you be networking?

I’m always surprised by how many people I meet who’ve only been networking once or twice … they’ve tried one style of meeting and never gone again.

There was never a truer adage for networking than “horses for courses” … meaning a racehorse performs best on a racecourse to which it is specifically suited … and people perform best at a networking event to which they are specifically suited.

Not all people are the same and not all groups are either.

First off, the term networking group is used as a coverall but there is a difference between a networking group and a referral group. The latter expects (and some even demand) that you refer business to your colleagues in the group. The expectation is that you become each other’s sales team and it can be exceptionally fruitful. If you are an architect then a group that contains tradesmen is likely to be lucrative for both you and them, if you are a PowerPoint expert it will probably be less so.

There are also differences between networking groups … some are structured; often the organiser will work very hard to make sure you move around the room and meet as many people as you can, and you will be expected to stand up and speak for 60 seconds about your business and how you can help others. (See here for a video on how to remember your minute). Others, are less formal; where you drop in and who you meet is pretty much up to you.

Some of my clients love the first and others the second … “horses for courses!” The important thing for you, is to test meeting styles and types for yourself.

And give them a chance by visiting several times to see if you like them and/or the format.

Remember, the group dynamics change so if you went a while ago don’t be afraid to try them again; your networking needs will change as your business changes too, so a group that wasn’t a good fit a year or two ago may be exactly the right group for you now!

Networking is a great way to make connections and build new streams of business. It can take a little time to find where you feel comfortable, but it is definitely worth the perseverance to find the right group for you.

And if you’re not confident about networking have a look at the networking mastery options I offer here or download my free A-Z of attending networking event here.