For a business networking group to be successful and ensure optimum networking results for each of its members, the first thing the group needs to do is make certain they are embracing quality.
Embracing quality means being very selective about who you bring into the group. The only people you should be inviting into the group are quality business professionals who have a positive, supportive attitude and are good at what they do. If an individual does not meet these criteria, they should not be permitted into the group, period.
Effective networking is dependent on the quality of the relationships that are developed within any given networking group. It goes without saying that embracing quality also means building deep relationships among all referral partners in order to generate more referrals. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, you won’t be getting the referrals you expect. The strongest relationships go deep – far beyond the surface level of only knowing someone’s name and their job.
Another aspect of embracing quality is ensuring high level participation of the members, which means it is crucial that there is accountability within the group. One of the greatest strengths of a good network is that many of the members are friends. One of the biggest weaknesses, however, is that . . . well . . . many of the members are friends. And generally, friends don’t like to hold their friends accountable. You and your fellow members need to remember that the purpose of your group is not to be a friendship club. Your purpose is to be a referral group. To be able to generate quality referrals, all members of the group must hold each other accountable for maintaining quality participation, such as:
– attending each meeting
– upholding the Core Values of the organization
– bringing visitors and sponsoring new members
– being part of the group’s leadership team
– mentoring new members
Expect the Best
Guess what? If you expect the best from your networking partners, you’ll get it. It is also true that if you expect less than the best from them, you will get that as well.
Why accept mediocrity when excellence is an option? People, like water, tend to seek the path of least resistance. The problem is that the path of least resistance may not be the best choice. Accountability within a networking group will help everyone involved achieve excellence and get results.
The final part of embracing quality is applying the Givers Gain® philosophy within the networking group. When each member focuses on helping their fellow members achieve goals, gain referrals, and grow business, those fellow members will reciprocate by helping them, too. The more members who live this philosophy, particularly as it relates to business referrals, the more successful a group will be.
Successful business networking happens through the relationships we develop with the people in our networking group. When people get to know, like, and trust each other, they are willing to make introductions and referrals to contacts in their other networks. When networking groups foster a culture of quality, along with expectations and accountability, those referrals can turn into new customers and clients, which add new sales for the members in the group.
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