People often ask me for tips on how to get better results from their networking groups. In today’s post I am going to share an idea, which is seldom covered regarding networking. Yet, it’s the core reason why networking groups fail for so many business owners.
Let’s start by being very clear about why small business owners attend networking groups. The primary reason they give me, is that they want to connect with people, who may be a source of referrals or connections, which lead to new clients or customers.
That’s what I’m going to focus on here. I’m also primarily addressing physical networking groups, though the concept works for online networking too.
Getting the word out
When a business or project is new, it needs a push. The word can’t spread until you, as the business owner, start talking. In the early days, connecting with people who can help you spread the word is absolutely essential.
However, once a business is established or a project is no longer new, you shouldn’t need to keep attending networking groups, in order to get leads. There should be no need to keep pestering people to recommend you.
- Remarkable services spread.
- Remarkable stories spread.
- Remarkable resources spread.
Once you get the word out. Once people have heard about what you do. Once you start delighting your first clients or customers, the word will spread. And you will attract regular enquiries from eager, prospective clients.
The remarkable problem
Of course, the typical small business owner chooses not to build a remarkable business. They want to play it safe.
That’s is why the following scenario is so common.
Think about the service providers in your town, who are in the same industry as one another. They will offer a very similar range of services, to the very same prospective clients, make very similar promises and charge very similar fees. They’re totally, utterly unremarkable.
So, instead of attracting high quality enquiries from eager clients, they need to push, push, push.
This is where networking groups come in.
An unremarkable business has no legs
No matter how well the owner of an unremarkable business “works the room” at networking events. No matter how aggressively they push members of their networking group for leads… there’s a limit on what they can achieve. It’s a pretty low, uninspiring limit too.
They may, just may, manage to make an average living, doing average work, charging average fees to average clients.
Eating soup with a fork
Focusing on the best way to attract great clients via networking groups, is like seeking the fastest way to eat soup, using a fork.
Yes, with practice you may be able to eat soup faster with a fork than the average business owner. But any business owner using a spoon, will make 100 times more progress than you.
When it comes to building a successful business, we already know what works: Focus on offering a remarkable service. Then market it correctly.