Business Networking Groups – How do you choose one??
There have always been a good variety of Business Networking groups you can be a part of.
- Networking in the mornings every week, with regimes and methods that sometimes work – sometimes don’t.
- Industry specific networks
- Monthly Networking groups where anyone can attend – and you meet 27 other accountants/solicitors/webs designers.
- Free Networking events where its a open and complete pot luck who you meet over drinks.
- Quality events with exclusive access to decision makers.
In addition – there are always groups that set up and launch with great fan fare and promises.
We are in an era of such a whole host of new networking groups springing up it seems.
Promises to “Lock out competition”, “Connect with thousands of Businesses”, and “make the experience less stuffy” can sound appealing to many people.
We welcome networking groups starting, new ideas being tried, as if it encourages just one person to overcome their fear or dread of networking – then that’s good – right?
Yet these sorts of claims usually assume that bigger is better; the more contacts you have the better; the more exclusive you are in a defensive, protective way – is a better way to network.
The Reality of finding a Quality Networking groups.
A quality network group has 3 main attributes in our experience across The Business Network family which are
- Giving and helping others
Openness in networking
We always believe that the more open and helpful you are – the more successful you will be at networking. In being open, that does not mean connecting with anyone, but being open minded to collaboration; open minded to opportunities; open minded to helping others; open minded to new ventures and suppliers.
Our quality network group is founded on this belief – in addition the more open minded we are the greater the opportunity to learn, to grow to develop.
Curiosity in Networking
So often when a new network group is promoted as “locking out others” and there being just one chance – it promotes a feeling of scarcity – and with scarcity comes protection and defence. Its pretty tough to have a curious mind-set when you are looking over your shoulder wondering if someone may snatch your place.
Giving and Helping others
We always say at The Business Network Chester if everyone could just help 1 person in the group then that help will come back right at you. but many new networks seem to have the approach that its about what you can get. well – who will benefit if no one is primed to first give?
So – as we said to one of our visitors who recently attended (and loved) one of Business Networking events in Chester – if you have loved our event, and still want to shop around – please do so – but think about it – what are you really look for from a network group?
When you have answered this question – then do the leg work and decide which is for you.
Some of the answers our Business Network members in Chester give to the question of “Why network with us are:
- A warm friendly welcome
- A chance to share knowledge and demonstrate expertise
- A diversity of group, with choice of quality suppliers
- Opportunity to meet quality senior decision makers
- Its an enjoyable way to network
- The referrals they get are quality and real – and lead to Business
- We are really good at match making them to quality suppliers and potential customers.
So its on this basis we work – and will continue to work on behalf of our members. So when you are deciding what sort of group to join – take the time to ask yourself – “what do I really want from my network Group? The answer may surprise you!