Concerning Networking Organizations
Trying to figure out how I can speak about and handle this topic in a fair and balanced manner without inserting too much personal opinion, I’ve chosen to start by talking about the many kinds of organizations and then go more detailed later in the article. It is essential to realize that you will have tastes that may or may not coincide with mine, but that we are all striving toward the same objective in our networking efforts. More business and, perhaps, increased friendships.
So let’s start by looking at the many kinds of groupings that exist. Even though there are many different kinds of organizations, it is more convenient to classify them based on the style of their meetings rather than using specific categories, such as chambers of commerce or women’s clubs.
The majority of groupings may be classified into one of four broad types. Social networking, business networking, lead groups, and networking with a program are some of the options available.
Social Media and Networking
The use of social media is a part of our everyday lives, whether we are aware of it or not. Every time we attend an event that brings together a group of individuals, we are engaging in social networking on some level. We are in a networking environment whether we are participating in a charity event, attending a party at a friend’s home, attending a religious service, or participating in an organized social networking event.
In the majority of instances, a significant portion of the membership in these organizations has nothing to do with business. However, there are always chances to meet individuals who might be, or who know, potential customers throughout the course of one’s day. Although it is recommended that you keep a few business cards in your pocket in case you meet someone else who is looking to network for their company, keep in mind that this is not the primary purpose of the function, and that you should be very casual in your approach to other attendees about your company’s services and products.
Tip for using social media:
Never make the assumption that everyone who attends one of these events is not a good prospect for your company. There are many possibilities to be found there. It is just important to remember that individuals are at the event for a variety of reasons and may not want to discuss business.
Networking in the Business World
Believe it or not, there are just a handful of clubs or organizations that are solely dedicated to “business networking.” For the sake of our debate, this category is designated for organizations who do not have speakers or events scheduled in advance. In the case of business networking, a comparable situation would be a chamber of commerce after-hours event. The act of business networking is as simple as getting together with other business colleagues and talking about your own companies.
I find it far more beneficial to have a substantial amount of time to speak with individuals about my company than to have a short length of time to speak and then be required to sit and listen to a program. This structure allows you to truly get to know individuals in the short period of time that has been allowed. There are certain instances in which you may do business with someone who you have just met for the first time.
Getting to know individuals in this manner enables you to get to know them quite well, and it may sometimes help to jump-start a connection without the need to meet for lunch or coffee at a later date. This format is only challenging if you are shy, which is the case for most people. Getting out of one’s comfort zone and starting a conversation with someone one doesn’t know may be difficult for a shy person.
Business Networking Tip: Create a core contact group of individuals that you see at a variety of meetings and keep in touch with them. This will provide you with a large number of connections via these individuals, who are actively developing their networks. Always make an effort to get acquainted with the “most popular individuals” in the room. They will often know the majority of the others and may assist you in rapidly expanding your network.
groups are under his supervision.
The lead groups are very regimented. This is the most significant subset of business networking. There are many distinct formats for leading groups, each of which differs significantly from the others. A big table is used in most instances to accommodate the leadership group… Typically, a lead group is comprised of no more than one individual from each industry. As a result, if you wanted to be a part of a lead group that already had one member from your kind of business, you would have to wait until there was an opening caused by that person’s departure before you could join.
Typically, lead groups range in size from 5 to 20 people. A certain length of time is allotted to each participant in a lead group to get up and speak about their company, which may range anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes depending on how large the group is. This is a designated period of time during which no one else talks and you take turns speaking.
Lead groups are beneficial for individuals who are timid or who find it difficult to participate in a meeting with no clear structure. If you are a part of a reputable lead group, you will find that the members are actively seeking recommendations for other members of their organization. When you consider that everyone has a personal network of about 200 hundred individuals, you can see how this may result in a significant amount of business. This does not imply that it is the greatest meeting format or that it is a bad meeting format, but simply that it is beneficial to you if you like structure.
Lead groups usually gather in the early morning or around lunchtime to discuss issues.
Leads Groups Tip: Make sure that the members of your lead group have the ability to assist you. Provide them with resources that they may use to represent your company when they come across someone who is in need of your product or service. Make sure that everyone knows what you do and who your top prospects are before you start marketing to them.
Getting to Know Someone Through a Program
There are several trade organizations and chambers of business that operate in this manner. The meeting typically begins with open networking, which may last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour in length. Afterwards, either an outside speaker or one of the existing members will give a presentation.
If you do not attend the meetings on a regular basis, you will not have much opportunity to get to know the individuals around you. In the majority of instances, these encounters are ideal for first contact, followed by a coffee or lunch meeting with potential clients. It is recommended that you utilize a method for taking notes and qualifying prospects in order to follow up with them later.
In most cases, these meetings come to a close following the presentation, with participants remaining in the room for 15 to 30 minutes before leaving.
Networking with a Program Tip: Get to know the people who are in charge of the program. As they progress through the ranks and into a leadership position, they will often gain a tremendous amount of knowledge about the members. When looking for new prospects or recommendations, these people may be of the greatest assistance.
Synopsis As I said at the outset of this essay, your opinions on these definitions may differ from mine. In order to choose meetings to attend or organizations to join, it is essential that you have specific objectives in mind about what you want to achieve in each situation. When establishing these objectives, be precise.
Keep in mind that business does not always come up in the initial contact or encounter with someone. Maintain consistency for the greatest outcomes. Make an effort to maintain a healthy balance in your networking by attending a variety of different organizations and gatherings. Each has its own set of advantages and may assist you in establishing a well-rounded presence in the business community, depending on your needs.