Networking is not automatic. Attending meetings is essential to the success of any networking group, but if that’s all you do, business may never come your way. Being present is essential, and with a little additional effort, the better and faster you will enjoy the results you want.
Give to the group by bringing guests. This is huge. It shows the group that you care about everyone’s success, not just your own. This is a critically meaningful message to share with your group. Experienced networkers know never to discount anyone new to the group. You never know who they know and it is over time as the new member’s confidence grows and with that trust in place he or she will begin to connect the dots to their circle of influence. So, each new member grows the strength of the group many times.
Take the time and expend the energy in meeting outside the regular meetings. Produce the confidence generated from your efforts to meet and offer your help in the form of ideas, contacts and an exposure to your circle of influence. This act will always generate more activity from the member your meeting with. Don’t wait until you think the time is right and you reach a level of comfort where the “outside the group meetings” are comfortable, do them right away and often with as many of the members in the group as possible. Don’t pick and choose because you think that “that member” has better contacts for you because the reality is you just don’t know. Once that newly contacted member gets to know you, he may think of new contacts that would have previously never come to mind. It’s a work in motion!
Just remember, if you just come to meetings without action, that’s what you’ll get, no action!