Laura Orsini, Guest Author
Many years ago, I knew a man from the same organization where we did the Hokey Pokey. Stan was a Melaleuca distributor and I remember two other things about him: (1) he publicly bitched and moaned at every opportunity about being single and wanting to meet a woman, and (2) he complained that after a year with our group, he’d never gotten any business from it. Of course, all he did was show up for the meetings 5 minutes before they started, recited his boring 30-second intro during the meeting, tried to sell the people he met on the value of a Melaleuca membership, and left 5 minutes after the meeting ended. Is it any wonder he never got any business?
About the same time, I was asked to act as greeter at a meeting for a different group. I went to the front door of the hotel where we met, greeting the guests and members as they arrived and directing them to our meeting room. A new member walked in, and I greeted her by name: “Hello, Kerri!” I don’t know who was more surprised that I knew her name, she or I? After my initial shock wore off, I realized that I knew her name because I was an officer, and part of that responsibility involved getting to know every member – even the new ones.
In Phoenix, as I’ve mentioned, there’s a TON of competition for our networking time and dollars. As a result, many groups are struggling for membership as they find themselves redundant and/or ineffective. The groups that thrive have active members who care about the mission, vision, and future of their organizations.
Most networking groups have boards of officers made up of volunteers. The better ones have regular planning and strategy meetings. Larger groups also invite non-office members to take active roles by serving on committees.
If you want to increase your visibility and improve your networking ROI, get involved in the leadership of your favorite group. Will it take time? Yes. How much depends on the specific role and the nature of the particular group. Will it benefit you? OF COURSE! You will develop leadership skills, come out of your shell if you’re the quiet type, and be visible so that all the members become familiar with you and your business. Most importantly, you will become an indispensable part of the team that makes your group function properly.
As my friend Katreena Hayes-Wood (who needs no help to come out of her shell) says, “It’s time to step in, step up, and step out!”
Copyright © 2012 – Laura Orsini. Laura Orsini is a professional editor, writer, and marketing advisor with a BA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Arizona. She is the author of several eBooks, including the award-winning 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women and Author Networking Made Easy, available for sale on her website. She also presents seminars on social media, eBooks, creativity, writing, gratitude and abundance, visualization, and brainstorming. Contact her at Laura@WriteMarketDesign.com or 602-518-5376. Visit her Website @ WriteMarketDesign.com
Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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