Have you ever attended a networking event that was full of card pushers? You know the ones who pitch to you right away, stuff their business card in your hand, and quickly move on to their next target? They have no interest in connecting because all about them.
If you ever been to a networking event, chances are, you encountered someone like this or you might be the over zealous networker (yes, I was one).
Many professionals have written off networking groups and believe it’s a waste of time because of lack of new business. Yet, there’s great value in meeting like-minded professionals. With the right mindset and strategy, you can network your way to premier vendor status with my top 3 suggestions below.
Why do you network?
Most professionals attend networking events to attract new clients and rub elbows with influencers. We all want to grow our business and lead generation is a simple solution. Networking isn’t about pitching on the first encounter. It’s about connecting to other people’s network. So it’s not the person you meet who you sell to, it’s their network. In addition, networking groups can provide more than leads when you find the right group. It can provide support, a safe place to experiment, and a mastermind.
Yes, a one stop shop!
I found a network group I enjoy. It’s a divers group of entrepreneurs from all walks of life, there’s plenty of seasoned experts, and everyone’s friendly. I always gain valuable information and connections when I attend.
As a result of attending this group, my business is growing, I’ve gained life long friendships, I’m collaborating with other entrepreneurs on a few projects, and I’ve strengthened a number of skillsets.
It’s well worth the investment to find the right network.
What can you do for the network?
The quickest way to become known, liked, and trusted in a networking group is to serve. If you focus on helping others solve their problems without asking for anything in return, you will become top of mind. Volunteering, donating refreshments, or taking attendance can work to your favor.
Networking to build relationships
Networking isn’t the best way to feed your business overnight because relationships take time to build. Ask around and look for a network group you can consistently attend.
If you’re looking for a quality network group, use the Meetup app to start your search. I highly recommend attending Wisconsin Business Owners meeting held every fourth Friday of the month.
What networking groups do you recommend? Are paid networking meetings better than free ones? We want to hear from you!
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