I am a keen networker. I do believe in getting out often to meet people in business and to build relationships. To me and to most of us the important part is about the building of relationships, because with that comes trust and the referrals we can give without embarrassment, and we hope the referrals we receive.
I usually go to two or three meetings a week, although sometimes it is only one. It depends on my work schedule and my clients of course. Some meetings are weekly, some fortnightly and some monthly. Pretty much all my networking is done in the same groups, though with an occasional sample of a new one. I expect that is pretty normal.
What I do not do is travel to lots of different meetings, hardly going to the same one twice. I also do not generally travel more than around twenty miles (overseas friends please remember how our dense population makes motoring slow at times) because in practice I know I will not be able to make time to visit regularly. As networkers we need to be seen as reliable and that means being at the meetings almost every time and not drifting in and out.
Yet I know there are networking butterflies who drift in and out of groups, flitting from flower to flower, never concentrating on a few. Maybe they find the odd serendipitous piece of business on their way, but what may seem the best serendipity is often the result of hard and careful networking and relationship building over a long time. Our butterflies are easily forgotten if we see them but once in a blue moon
I believe we should choose our networking groups carefully, and give them time to work What is your experience?
© Jon Stow 2010
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