By Power Hour – Mentor
Joining a networking group is a good way to CONNECT with other business professionals in your area. Most meetings are an hour to an hour and a half in length and range from once a week to once a month, so the time commitment is doable. Meeting in person with other business owners/salespeople on a regular basis will help to establish a RAPPORT that does not compare to online interactions. Online business sites such as LinkedIn are an important vehicle, but nothing compares to face-to-face meetings. Once a rapport is established, REFERRALS usually come natural to business professionals. If the networking group is run correctly, the members become an EXTENSION OF YOUR SALES FORCE who are promoting your business as they are out in the community. This makes joining a networking group one of the most COST EFFECTIVE WAYS TO MARKET you and your business to the public. In addition to introducing members to other business professionals, a networking group should also introduce NEW BUSINESS IDEAS that members can apply to their own business. Many groups will invite speakers from the community to share their BUSINESS TIPS for being successful or to share their KNOWLEDGE on a subject that can be applied to all businesses or to help the members improve their business and personal life. Speakers from the community will increase members’ reach into the community as well and may lead to a new member to the group! In addition to inviting a speaker, many groups will brainstorm on a certain topic at each meeting. This activity helps members learn how other business professionals handle certain situations and provides some INSIGHT for a similar situation they may encounter in the future. Brainstorming a topic also ENGAGES members in topics and ideas they may not have considered. It has been shown that networking groups help members grow professionally and personally! Each meeting should improve your business connections and provide AT LEAST ONE IDEA that you can walk away with. Now that should be worth your time! Happy networking!