Spending an hour with the right person is, in my opinion, worth more than participating in 10 visits (perhaps more) to an open forum networking session.
There are two types of networking groups that I recommend.
- One is a membership organization which has structured meetings. There may be some sharing as to what type of business you are in and perhaps some talk about helping the community. The real value comes from the ability to call a member and request a one- on-one meeting, and that person will make the appointment because you both belong to the same organization.
- I can think of several such organizations. Some are civic, others are social clubs, some are religious organizations and others may be business clubs. In each of these organizations the membership is built on a common bond and that bond is strong enough to allow for a high level of one-on-one networking meeting.
- The second type is one that I developed and it is becoming part of my BizQuack© membership alliance. Within this group there will be a structured Table Top Networking™ session. It will be occurring at a designated location on a weekly basis and open to members only. The key is the structured, one hour session, with just one other member.
I believe that social media is good place to have exposure, but I don’t believe that spending half of your working week on social media with the hopes of getting 4 or 5 leads and then hopefully obtain a qualified lead that will end in a transaction is the way to grow a business.
Time is still the most valuable commodity that we have. As business owners selective networking is the most worthwhile networking method. Structured networking takes the “I hope to meet” chance out of the equation by allowing you to select whom you meet based on what each of you can contribute to each other.
In addition to my own membership organization I have the privilege of belonging to two other organizations which I believe are among the very best business sources in Arizona.
If you could have a bird’s-eye view of a networking transaction, it would resemble two people working a cross-cut saw. Round 1: one side pushes. The other side pulls. Round 2: the pusher pulls and the puller pushes. Harvey Mackay
Nick J. Petra CFP Always working to bring profitability and sustainability to small business owners