I overheard a conversation this past week at a networking event between two business professionals. The comment that drove this post was "None of my networking in business organizations paid off". (I always cringe when I hear that.) The woman continued to share what did work for her; social networking, specifically "meetups. Her profession? Interior Design. His profession? Realtor.
This sounded like a brilliant conclusion. If you are trying to meet consumers who will buy interior design, they are not typically at business networking events AND unless you are networking at "partner rich" events (i.e. realtors, contractors, window coverings, etc.) you will not likely make as many quality connections. There is nothing more frustrating than attending networking with the hope of making good connections and walking away empty handed.
It made me wonder, are we simply swallowing the "how-to's" hook, line and sinker without evaluating our own business model, personality, sales style, and target audience? I hope not! Here are a couple of things to think about as you personalize your networking efforts.
If you are networking for lead generation and getting less than desired results, ask yourself:
Is it the group? Not rich enough in prospects, partners or opportunties? Are you fishing in the wrong pond?
Is it you? Are you not asking the right questions, engaging the right people, and following up?
If you've invested dollars in membership and time in an organization, be sure to evaluate the above. Before jumping ship, make sure it isn't you. If it is, you will take your troubles to the next organization.