When a motivated group of business owners come together there is an abundance of advantages and opportunities! When you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for your networking meeting you have several advantages over those who choose to arrive late!
The benefits to being early include exchanging business referrals with other members, getting to know them better, talking over new business ideas, taking a few moments to select your choice of breakfast (or lunch), asking for advice, scheduling a breakfast of lunch with another member to get to know them better and much more. Being visible and getting noticed is a big benefit of networking.
Myth: Better late than never!
Reality: Better never late!
I understand that there are times when being late is unavoidable, and I also understand that if being late is a constant problem, being aware of the problem will help you look for and implement a solution. Want to raise your business profile in the group? Suggestion: Leave for the meeting early! Arrive early – stay late! If you make this a part of your plan for the day… problem solved!
Good attendance at your networking meeting is consistent with getting good business referrals. A “hit & miss” approach simply doesn’t work! Networking takes effort… much like all the other things you consider important to the success of your business. The seed to achievement at your networking group is being there consistently. Most people will only refer business referrals to people they like and trust. Building a trusting relationship with someone requires being in touch with that person and seeing them on a regular basis.
I also understand that business comes before business clubs. And if business is so good you have no need to attend, maybe you should consider creating an opening in your business classification so that someone else can benefit from “active” membership. OR call the leader of your group and let them know that you are: busy, not interested, or whatever. Any member who misses any meeting should extend the courtesy of calling in an excused absence.
And while I’m on a roll… the purpose of the “30-second connection” (often called your elevator speech) at the beginning of the meeting is to help you to learn more about other member’s businesses and the type of business referrals they would like to have. Consider the possibility that you can learn a lot more about them when you actually “listen” than when you are talking while someone else is speaking.
When I am asked to speak to networking groups around the Greater Phoenix area, I enjoy watching how the group responds when members are giving their “30-second connection.” Often there are quite a few private conversations going on during this very important part of the meeting. I know, you’ve heard it all before, however, as a courtesy to the member who is telling you about their business, let’s remember to give them your full attention.
When you give your “30-second connection” at the beginning of the meeting, please remember to speak louder than normal so everyone can hear and remember to talk slower than normal so everyone can understand what you are saying. Remember, this is a time when we all learn more about other member’s businesses. Please: No talking, other than the person speaking to the group.
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking 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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