Business Networking is about helping you build a strong base of valued clients.
I am going to share with you my business networking journey and some of the pitfalls and mistakes that I have made along the way.
One of these is definitely wasting money on networking events that do not give me a return on my investment known as (ROI). Not every networking event is right for your business. One size does not fit all, that is for sure. I have learnt this the hard ways over the last twelve years of business networking.
Disclaimer: “These are my opinions only and every business person is different. You need to assess my comments alongside what you are currently doing”.
Here are my 10 Money Wasting Traps:
- Not doing your research about an event that wish to attend.
- Not being selective in the networking events that you attend
- Attending networking events that your ideal clients will not be at
- Attending seminars that offer you ‘A get rich quick scheme’
- Rushing to the back of the room at a workshop to secure their ‘Today Only Hot Offer’
- Attending women or men only networking events the majority of the time
- Arriving late and leaving early at a networking event or workshop
- Impulse buying books and DVD’s that you never get around to reading or watching
- Going to every new networking group around to ‘try it out’
- Not concentrating on building strong business relationships at a few selected groups
Business Networking takes time and patience.
It is about building strong relationships of trust for the long term. Attending networking events regularly is the ideal way to do this to continue to build your business. However, you need to ensure that you Follow Up with each new business person that you meet that you wish to form a strong relationship with.
Key to Business Networking – You Must Network Yourself
No-one else can network for you.
Your business partner can’t, your employees can’t, your family can’t. It is something that you have to do yourself.
Remember Business Networking is about connecting with people. It is about getting to know them and building a relationship of trust where they trust you in business and you trust them.
Only then when trust is built are you willing to refer your best clients to them-Gold Clients. These are the clients that are really important to your business. You take great care of them and you nurture your relationship with them. So you are certainly not going to refer them to just anyone. Don’t ever make this mistake. I have to my peril and lost some of my Gold Clients because of it…
Business Networking-Choose the right networking events for your business
As I mentioned earlier in my Blog, not every networking event is right for your business.
You need to carefully consider the events and workshops that you attend. There is so many to choose from out there. Every event sounds great, so how do you choose the right ones for your business. Organisers pay a lot of money to advertise and promote their events and they often have professional marketing people that do this to ‘draw you in’. Be wary of the hype.
Please ensure that your ideal clients or your target market attend these events. Check out the claims of the organiser of these events. Make sure that they have a good and reliable reputation. Look on Facebook to see who is attending these events. Most organisers will advertise on Facebook and you can click Going to see who is attending the workshop or event. If you know people that you trust that are going, call them and ask about their experience with this person or events. Ask who normally attends these events. This is usually a good gauge for you.
I always do this if it is an event that I have not attended before. If you do not do this simple bit of homework, you will spend a lot of your hard earned money for little or no return.
How I select the right networking events and workshops for me and my business
- I have been involved in weekly networking groups each week for twelve years now, except for about 3 months break six years ago. I have made the most amazing lifelong friends from being in a weekly business networking group.It has helped me tremendously in building three of my own businesses this way.
- I get about 75% of my business through my Networkers Referral Group (NRG).
Meetup Groups are also a great source of quality business relationships and new clients. I normally attend 1-2 of the same ones regularly. You can just do a Google Search or download the Meetup App to find the right group near you. There is a huge variety of different groups and topics to choose from. Both business and social.
- Outstanding Groups that I attend is definitely Jennie Gorman’s Power Hours at Clayfield. It is the one group that I try to get to every couple of weeks. Jennie discusses a different business topic each week and the people who attend her groups are very good business people with high integrity.
I recommend as a networking professional to do the following:
- Belong to a weekly networking group. The three best ones in Brisbane are: BNI; KBN and my NRG groups. They are all slightly different, but all three are well run and will give you a strong base of good business people to help you build your business.
- Attend 1-2 business networking events each month (Meetup or Chamber of Commerce)
- Attend an outstanding workshop every two months.
If you follow these 3 simple steps and follow up after each event, you will definitely be on your way to building a great business and you will not be Wasting Money along the way.
If you would like to know more about any information contained in this Blog, please go to my website at: www.nrggroups.com.au
Please feel free to share this post with your business friends. I hope you enjoy this Blog.