Quit fooling around with your business networking!

Posts tagged ‘face to face networking’

It’s the right thing to do…Is it Effective?

You know you should, but do you? You know you can, so… why won’t you?

Listen Up: Business doesn’t stop when you’re ready to relax. Sometimes, you’ve got to keep on, keeping on, getting your business done.

Of course, you’ve got to have balance with your family, spouse, kids, grand kids, fishing, life and work! Sometimes, you’ve just got to let the pendulum swing in your favor.

Remember the old saying, “Strike while the iron is hot!” From the website www.Phrases.org:

THE Meaning:

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Act decisively and take your opportunities when they arise.

This old proverb clearly alludes to the imagery of the blacksmith or farrier at his forge. If he delays in shaping the iron when it is hot a pliable the metal soon cools and hardens and the opportunity is lost.

Sometimes, an “After Hours” type of event or other networking event simply must be attended. Sometimes the connections you meet could (hopefully) develop into deep strategic alliances to bring even more business to you and your company.

Here is the pitfall: You make those networking events, even those which aren’t producing results, the mainstay and primary focus of your personal efforts to grow your business.

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it. “I go to 4 to 7 networking meetings every week! Man! I’m doing it!” If you asked if all that networking works, you might be surprised with an honest answer!

I know one guy that prides himself in the fact he attends 3-4 “business networking” meetings every day! Every day. He’s divorced, late 50’s – early 60’s, and broke most of the time. Seems that for him, business is never “good enough.

Do what works, and do it effectively.

If you could replace almost all of your “events” with one single networking group that actually wanted to give you referrals – qualified, ready to do business referrals – would you be interested? You’d be silly not to at least investigate!

Look around for exclusive industry groups, chapters or Clubs that have your industry’s slot open. Gold Star Clubs offer them. So do BNI, LeTip, some Chamber groups, etc. If there isn’t one available, you might need to consider starting your own. Again, Gold Star Clubs can help there, too.

Get more information here: http://bit.ly/1klBGoB

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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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