Networking with other business owners and sales profesionals is a great way to promote your business and get referrals, and is one of the things I recommend to clients to add to their "marketing mix."
One of the networking groups I've been involved with for a couple of years recently changed its member attendance requirements to request more regular attendance in order to stay on the member roster and maintain the member privileges. A couple of members who have been absent a lot in the past few months expressed disappointment in the change in rules and said they would have to resign because they couldn't attend at least twice a month.
Here is my reply to them, which is a good lesson for you, my readers, about the purpose, process and advantages of networking:
Remember that networking is about building relationships to create the know like and trust factor for referrals. If you're not coming, people can't get to know you. And you can't get to know the new members to be able to refer to them.
Networking is a way to develop new business. If you are so busy with business that you cannot make the meetings on a somewhat regular basis, then you don't need new business, so you don't need to network.
Marketing your business is a part of being in business. If you're too busy serving your clients to be able to spend time on marketing and promotion, your client pipeline is going to dry up. When that happens you have to scramble to market and try to get new business. This creates a bottleneck in your business and "feast or famine" syndrome.
Creating systems for continual marketing avenues and/or hiring some help will clear up the bottleneck and allow you to grow your business. This is something I've had to learn to do in my business (that my business coaches have helped me to realize) that has allowed it to keep growing. Now I coach my business clients about this and ways to do it, so they can experience growth as well (and not be overworked, sick, and stressed).
If we have attendance requirements to become a member, what sense does it make to have less stringent requirements to MAINTAIN membership?
Yes, we tout that we are "free, fun & flexible," but there needs to be a balance between flexiblity and responsibility. If EVERYONE only came every couple of months, the group would cease to exist. We all are responsible for doing our part to be present, participate, and refer our members; it can't be carried by just a few people.
How are YOU leveraging networking events for promoting your business? If you don't have networking as a tool–and do it correctly–you will be losing out on a lot of potential custers!
Do you need help getting ideal clients and making more money with less effort and more fun? Schedule a complimentary MMM Strategy Session with me to identify which of the three keys of creating a successful business you are missing–Marketing, Mindset or Manifesting principles–and IMMEDIATE steps to take so you can get more clients and make a difference in more lives!
Your partner in success,
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach