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Seven problems with typical networking groups and events
By Brenda Thomson
I don’t know about you but sometimes I get very frustrated with typical networking groups and events.
- Some groups have hefty membership fees and require you to show up every week – that’s tough on your wallet and your time.
- Some events always have the same people there – great for building relationships but not so good if you want to make new connections.
- Other events have plenty of new people but unless you’re a social butterfly (and I’m not) you rarely get to talk with everyone, so you never know what great connections you may have missed.
- Lots of events are like a lucky (or unlucky) dip. You never know who’s going to be there or whether they’ll have ANYTHING in common with you.
- Some groups expect you to give referrals – I don’t know about you but I’ll give referrals when it’s the right thing to do not because it’s expected of me.
- Other events have no focus or purpose. Socialising is great but business networking events are an investment of time and money and needs to generate a return on investment.
- Many inexperienced networkers see networking events as an opportunity to peddle their wares or ask bluntly for referrals (as if!!!) I don’t know about you but I go to networking events to make new connections and build relationships NOT to be sold to!
Make sure you do your homework before committing to any networking group… is it a good fit for you, your business and most importantly your business objectives?
For most business owners I recommend a mix of quality networking groups which include the opportunity to develop strong strategic relationships with business owners who share the same target market, the opportunity to broaden your network and finally the opportunity to build on your professional skills and knowledge.
Articles in the Synergy48 Group Networking Resource Pack
How to create a networking plan
Where should I network?
Who do you want to meet at a networking event?
What are strategic partnerships and why should I care?
Seven steps to effective networking follow up
How to evaluate the effectiveness of your networking efforts
CEO and Founder, Synergy48 Group
Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and she is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor. She is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business.
Brenda has over 20 years of experience training in communication, team work, time management, productivity, organisation and strategic planning in large organisations. She is also the developer of the Business Benchmarking Toolkit used by Synergy48 Group members and clients to identify areas for improvement in their business processes.
Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic partnerships and networking with a difference. She is passionate about actively giving back to the community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every Synergy48 Group membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own businesses, Brenda has climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.