The value of your networking group far exceeds getting leads. Actually, a large piece of the value that comes from your group has little to do with a direct lead in the arena of “Joe needs this, so I’ll call him and tell him your coming” but in the information and idea generation that can develop from your group if you are open to receiving. Getting new ideas and concepts to grow your business and ultimately make more money.
Get to know your group members well enough that you have the ability to make and receive suggestions about their business. I don’t mean to march around the meeting, or even when having a meeting outside the group, interjecting your concepts and business directions. That would be as bad as bringing up politics and religion at a dinner party! No, I mean, make yourself available to group members for communication at a level consistent with the idea of easy, open communication. Create a space where such conversations are comfortable. This process can be expedited by being open in the meetings with who you are as much as what you do for a living and giving leads to as many people possible.
Try integrating yourself into the group until you become “part” of the group and not just a member of it. When that transformation in your participation occurs, not only leads will be generated but ideas potentially helping your business. When this “space” of comfort in the business relationships you have created develops, you can allow yourself to be the recipient of not only leads, but concepts and suggestions that generate from other members experience, both good and bad!
If you just attend meetings, sit and wait for a lead that is exactly what you will do, sit and wait. Get involved and enjoy the difference!