The True Value of Networking

Posted by Michael Kirby on May 24, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Many groups exist that are solely dedicated to networking. While some are highly structures with requirements regarding performance, payment and exclusive membership, others are free and allow you to come and go s you please with no charge required.

Not every group will be a good fit for every business. It may be found that certain groups just don't have the connections that you are wishing to attract. Some other groups may have particular rules that just don't fit with how your business works.

However, one factor often overlooked when considering a networking group; does this group offer more long-term or short-term value?

When focusing on short term value, each member of the group is seen only as a prospect.  This sets a limit on the business potential of the group, because you can't reach beyond those in the room. If there are 50 members and 30 fit your profile, what happens when you present to all 25? You can either quit and start from scratch with another group, or you can take the long-term value approach.

This approach puts a heavy emphasis on building strong relationships that give you influence on individuals beyond your immediate group.

Discover Needs

Like most people, you are most likely clear about what you need. However, are you clear on what your business connections need? Think about the following: Do you know anyone who is a good prospect for them? Can you offer or at least recommend services that can help them? Find out what your contacts need and then act to fulfil these needs.

Be Generous

Instead of looking at every person in your networking group as a potential sale, be more concerned with what you can give them rather than what you can get.

Give materially through sponsoring events or donating to fundraising efforts. Additionally, give your time by contributing in a service position, or just being free with ideas and a welcoming smile.

Especially give by helping others make valuable connection. If you help one of your fellow members by making an introduction, do it. If you are generous to them, the gesture will come back to you.

Build Trust

Trust is a large factor in being sought out and forming these relationships. It takes time to build, but is completely wort it. In a business sense, trust is based on three factors:

Value – do you consistently bring value to the relationship?

Dependability – are you the real deal? Can you be depended upon?

Consistency – are you consistent over time? If you are occasional participant, or just passing through, it is harder to develop trust.

Regular one-on-one meetings with group members will allow you to get to know them and vice versa.

Networking groups provide you with valuable allies who can both open doors and remove obstacles for you. Pursue relationships instead of viewing everyone as a sale opportunity. Strong relationships translate to strong businesses in the long-term, which is the most valuable approach to networking.

Want to know more?

Get in touch

Topics: Firm News


see all