Quit fooling around with your business networking!

Archive for January, 2012

Aside

Business Networking is a lot like fishing?

If you don’t fish, let me explain. Whether you fish from land or from a boat, here’s how it works: You get to water. Next, get to your fishing spot. The “old guys” would call it, your “honey hole.” Then, put bait, any bait, on your hook and toss it in. A moment or two later, you get a bite. Moments pass, and you pull in a huge fish that happened to be hungry, and gobbled your bait right up! That’s all there is to it. Right?

Well, not exactly.

ImageFishing take patience and skill. For example, you must know the “right” bait to use for the fish you want to catch. You must know where the fish are, just in case that “honey hole” of your’s doesn’t pay off. You’ve got to know the right times when to go fishing. Is it morning, mid-day, or possibly late evening. You never quite know when you’ll get a bite or if you’ll miss the fish completely. Most people think that if you don’t catch anything it was a waste of time. No fish, bad day.

Networking is a lot like that. Business people attend networking meetings all over town, week after week, pitching themselves, their products or services, expecting business to fall into their laps. However, they rarely get anything out of it, so they decide that business networking, dare I say, “Professional networking” doesn’t work To those that miss the networking “honey hole,” I’d like to offer a few fishing…er…networking tips.

  1. Don’t rush the process. Take time to get to know, actually know some of the other networkers, by name, what they do, and maybe even how you can help them get more business.
  2. Be clear on why you’re attending. If all you want is business for you, like, “gimme gimme,” then stay home. Never a good business plan, you’ll be known as a “taker.”
  3. Give more than you get. Many referral groups preach giving before receiving. They’re right!
  4. Select a few good groups, and make it a point to be at those meetings every time they meet.
  5. Go with a heart to help.

My wife and I (as my partner) fished in a tournament one time…at night(!). The temperature was a mild 105 (daytime) in mid-July here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The evening forecast was for high 80’s, or low 90’s. We started at 7:00pm for a conclusion at 7:00am. I was sure the temperature actually rose that evening, ’cause it was HOT!¬†We slapped the water with every bait known to man, and still no bites. This lake was dark! I mean no lights on the lake, no houses with lights remotely near the water. Couldn’t see anything! Every time we turned a light on…bugs! Seemed those little buggers would dive right at us since we had lit ourselves, as targets! Right around 11:30pm, drenched in sweat, bug bitten, fish-less, we headed back to the dock to call it a night.

Sometimes the groups and meetings you visit, aren’t the best “honey holes” for you. If not, find another, or simply call it a night.

If you want to check out a good referral club, visit: www.goldstarclubs.com for details and locations. If there isn’t one where you are, please visit: www.goldstarbusiness.com to find about starting your own Gold Star Club!

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