Tina Turner’s asked a great question, one to think about when choosing a new networking group or eliminating one from your current dance card.
Prior to joining a group, think about the reasons you want to join. Is the purpose for business development? Professional development? Social?
And review the organizations you’re already involved in. Are you involved with a group because it’s fun or because its members generate business for you? Maybe a little of both.
If you’re focused on business development, have you looked at your personal referrals-versus-sales results from each of your networking memberships? You’ve only got so much time. Review your networking plan often. What’s working? What’s not? Who is sending you the most and/or best business? Show them some love and reward them.
Which business networking groups are producing revenue for you and which are not? How much time does membership in each group take? How often do they meet? How big is your personal commitment? If a group is not working for you, it’s OK to cancel your membership. However, it’s not OK to break ties with those members you enjoy most. Keep the love alive by regularly staying in touch. Personally, I find LinkedIn notifications a handy tool to keep up to date on what’s happening with those in my network. You can send a quick note, pick up the phone or schedule an in-person get together to hear the latest.
Does the group you’ve joined offer some great dance partners? People with whom you can create strategic alliances and refer business? Then it’s a keeper.
Having a hard time deciding which group to dump? Could be love. If you’re in a group just to have fun or brainstorm ideas, that’s OK. Know that “fun” is the purpose of this group. Don’t expect new business from it or get angry when members don’t send referrals your way.
Review all your networking organizations and your individual connections. Identify your key contacts and how you plan to reach out to them at least 10 to 14 times per 12-month period. Emails, phone calls, and cards count as reaching out. Lesser contacts can be communicated with three to five times per 12-month period, according to marketing expert, Dan Kennedy.
And finally, if you’re staring at a business card like a phone number on an old paper napkin and you can’t remember who the person is, that person is no longer a viable contact. Remove them from your networking dance card. No love lost there.
© 2006 – 2018 • Wendy J. Terwelp • All Rights Reserved.
Wendy Terwelp is a recognized expert on networking, both online and off. Her advice and ideas have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fast Company, Inc., More, The Business Journal, Careerbuilders.com, Monster.com, NBC, ABC, FOX, and other media. Wendy works with organizations who want to rock their networks internally and externally to close more deals, improve employee engagement, and increase brand awareness. Book her for your next event: https://www.knocks.com/speaking/