Defining a Quality Networking Group

When it comes to quality, how do you choose the group that matches your expectations?

Defining a quality group is not as easy as it looks. You first need to conduct the research into meetings, type of attendance etc. The next thing you want to know is the size of the group. Size does count as a smaller group will not often have enough leads for each individual. You should also make sure that the level of the person belonging to the group is at the appropriate place. By level we mean: is the person belonging to the group an influencer on decisions or are they the person that makes the actual decisions? Often with these groups, it is the salesperson that attends, and they can only suggest something to the decision makers. The decision maker does not necessarily need to be the CEO, but it is likely that they are part of the administrative executive. Do not waste your time with groups that do not have access to the decision makers.

Influencers can have some effect, but in the long run, if they cannot get you in front of the decision maker, you are most likely wasting your time. Be picky about the quality of the group you may eventually join; if you are to bring leads in and they are to offer you leads, make sure the quality of the group is where you need it to be. For example, do not expect high level consulting business from a printer-paper salesperson. It is not likely they will know who you need to know.

Even though quality is important in a group, quality can be found in various types of groups that you will come across. Quality may be defined in several ways. First is the quality of the attendees and the level of decision making they have in an organization. Second is the quality of the leads that are generated by the attendees. The leads need to be of some value and they need to include an introduction to the company needing your services. Let's take a closer look at some of the types of groups that could possibly fit your needs.

Group Survey

Name of the group

______________________________________________________________

Where does the group meet?

______________________________________________________________

Day and time of meetings (is it weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly?)

______________________________________________________________

Group Size ___________________________________________________

How many people do you know in the group? __________________

Group Focus _________________________________________________

Decision Making Level of the participants

______________________________________________________________

Are there exclusivity requirements? ___________________________

Number of Leads expected:

Receive in a month __________ Give in a month ________________

Further Comments

______________________________________________________________

________________ ______________________________________________

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite, She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen".

Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in June 2005. For more information visit http://BlueprintBooks.com

In The News:

Top 10 networking stories of 2021  ComputerWeekly.com
5 Best Practices When Networking in College  Student Assembly of the State University of New York
Animal crossings, and other networks for safety  The Christian Science Monitor
3 Industrial Networking Trends  Automation World
The power of networking  BusinessLine
Make networking a habit  Observer Online
Stop Networking, Start Connecting  Harvard Business Review

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