Are you networking in the right room?

Well I know I certainly have been in the past but also the wrong rooms as well. What I mean by this is, in this case, networking events or events with networking. These events for me and many others are a good source of leads and referrals which lead to work.

As it is part of my strategy I have metrics, budgets and targets and a lovely spreadsheet. I hear a few of you laughing, but for me it is crucial, I need to know how effective my networking is.

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Over the past 12 years, I have attended in the region of 1800 events, been taught networking skills, have made all the mistakes and yes written a book that included all this, so I would like to think I speak from a position of authority.

Now there are some basic networking rules that apply to most events such as don’t sell always be giving and see through the room, but a really important one is persistence. Going to an event twice may give you enough to make an informed decision, but generally speaking, it won’t. Do not expect instant success, it does happen as I got a customer in 30 seconds once, but generally speaking, you need to grow relationships with people and generally, this can take 3 to 6 months. The “know like trust” comes into play here.

But with that, all considered are you in the right room/s? I did some analysis recently and discovered that indeed I was not. I had given the group enough time to yield something but it had not. Was this my fault was my first question but I was having good success at other groups so unlikely at was that the Room was just not right for me. It was to small a group and had given me nothing despite my clear indication of what I offered and what I was looking for.

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Contrast this with two days networking I have done recently both of which yielded 22 new LinkedIn Connections, over 20 1-2-1 bookings and over a £1000 worth of new business already and I have not finished all the appointments and some are still booking spots.

The first was a brand new group I joined and was introduced at my first event and got a lot of interest straight away, the second day was the combination of 3 events, one being an online 2-day seminar for Women in Business, One being a group I had considered joining, and now have and the last was a group that continually produces leads and clients.

What they all had was attendees who had the attitude and budgets to take on my services, sure they would get an ROI. I also disqualify people from having 1-2-1’s if I see them as a tyre kicker or just wanting more free advice. Yes, I do give some hints and tips away to establish my credibility, but genuine people will see this as the tip of my knowledge and that what I know will help them in their business.

So what returns are you getting from your events, go put some metrics on them? It is ok to use them as a place to be among peers, and in these current climes it is essential for your mental health, but that can not be the only reason that you are going.

If a group, for example, has a £50 joining fee and a £30 a month cost then that is an annual outlay of £410. You should be looking to get 3 times that back as profit, not turnover so if you have a 25% profit that is over £5k of sales from that room. Even if the event is free your time isn’t so you need to consider this when you analyse any group.

So are you in the right room, is it working for what you need?

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I would love to know what your “Right” rooms are so please let me know on tony@solidsilversolutions.com

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