Membership in a good networking group can be worth a considerable amount of money. Especially if you calculate the time you spend each month and the business value of your time. Make your time and efforts worthwhile. Don’t squander your opportunity by doing the wrong things in those meetings!
Success in a networking group comes when the rest of the group members trust you enough to open up their best referrals to you. Until they’ve seen your work, you have to earn that trust by demonstrating your professionalism to them. Since I founded BNI almost 25 years ago, I’ve seen how people have truly succeeded in networks–and I’ve seen how people have totally wasted their time in them.
Here are the top 10 ways to waste your time in a networking group (avoid all of them):
No. 10. Go ahead, air your grievances among your fellow networkers and guests; after all, they really want to hear about your complaints.
No. 9. Wing it in your 60-second presentations; you’ve got plenty more chances anyway.
No. 8. Use one-to-one meetings to talk about your networking group’s issues instead of learning a lot more about each other.
No. 7. Focus your efforts on selling your services primarily to the members of the group.
No. 6. Don’t rush following up on a member’s referral. They know where you are.
No. 5. Use others’ 60-second presentation time to think about what referrals you can give that week.
No. 4. Why invite your own guests? Just focus on those who show up.
No. 3. Don’t worry if you get to the meeting late. No one will notice.
No. 2. Be absent; it’s no big deal. You can just call in your referrals . . . right?
And the No. 1 way to waste your time in networking groups . . .
No. 1. It’s OK, take that phone call or text message during a meeting. It won’t bother anyone, and it’s a real sign of professionalism that everyone admires.
So there it is–The Top 10 Ways to Waste Your Time in a Networking Group! Print this out. Memorize it. Share it with your fellow networking members. Above all–avoid these mistakes! You’ll get a lot more out of your group and so will your fellow members.
I’d love to hear some more ways that are big time wasters in a networking group. Please leave your comments below. Let’s add to this list.
Oh, and to visit a good networking group in your area, feel free to Click here.