I spoke at a luncheon recently about networking and one young lady posed an interesting question that I would like to take the time to address here.
“I know that I need to network, but can you tell me which groups would be a waste of time.” I am sure there was more conversation around that question than I am posting here, but that was the gist of the question.
My response to her was, “All networking without a strategy is a waste of time. It is not a matter of the organization being a waste of time, it is the strategy that you use within the organization that makes it effective.”
BNI is structured systems intended to create success for it’s members but many people will leave the organization saying “It” did not work for them. An organization cannot work for you, you have to work the organization.
What is your strategy? Why you are networking? Are you prospecting, looking for people to buy your products or services? For instance, if your clients are dentist and you want to find more dentist, then most likely you are not going to find them at a chamber event. You will need to do some research to find your target market!
Are you looking for referral sources, other professionals who work with Dentist? Who are these professionals and where do they hang out? When you find the 6-8 people who work with the same client type that you do in a non-competitive way, your networking becomes far more effective, more strategic.
When you have the people who can help you build your business you can then network for them. Go to events as a team and work the room for each other instead of yourself. Maybe it is not that you need to network more, but you need to network more effectively. It is more about you and your strategy than it is about the organization you are joining.