Are You Networking or Just Showing Up for Breakfast?

Every Wednesday there’s a networking group that gathers in the meeting space above our gym. Every Wednesday I see the same 12 people. Every Wednesday they have a nice breakfast, network and then head to work, just about the same time I’m finishing up my workout and heading home to rev up my own day.

I asked one of the women, Diana, what she gets out of those networking sessions. Her response: “I’ve made some good friends and the food is great.” Bottom-line: No business benefit. Diana is a good reminder of the importance to check in on all your networking groups and ask “Am I effectively networking or just having breakfast?” Do it today.

I’m just sayin’,

P.S. Comment and share your thoughts on networking groups.

2 thoughts on “Are You Networking or Just Showing Up for Breakfast?

  1. Some networking groups are more effective than others. For instance, BNI (Business Networking International) is a phenomenal group that has chapters all over the world. One needs to be invited to become a member, and when one joins, that person’s competition is locked out of that particular chapter. Say a roofer joins the chapter; no other roofer will be allowed in. Many attorneys might belong to the same chapter, but that’s because of the many areas of law they each represent. I was in BNI for a couple of years, learned so much from the classes they provide their members, and still use today. The chapters meet on the same day every week; each person gets up and gives our elevator speech, ending with, “A great referral for me this week would be…” If we knew the gatekeeper’s name or a particular person’s name but were having trouble getting the foot in the door, we’d as for an introduction to that person. It’s so surprising that someone in the group usually already had that contact ready for the one who asked. I got into several firms that way. The focus of BNI is referral/relationship based. We carried each other’s business cards with us, so that if, in our travels, someone asked if we knew someone with the classification we needed, boom! A referral was in the making. Several people in the chapter to which I belonged received hundreds of referrals while I belonged to the group. Certified Legal Nurse Consulting is so specialized, I thought I did well with the 7 I received to law firms in 2 years, and several others for giving community classes.

    Other networking groups are not as effective, because they are more socializing groups. It takes a ton of man hours researching and visiting the numerous organizations to realize you may want to belong. I’m still searching.

    I still contact my BNI friends whenever I need work done on my house, car or insurance stuff. And, I make contact with the attorneys that were in the group at the same time I was in, just to touch base and exchange ideas, and, sometimes great referrals come from that. In fact, recently, I got a phenomenal referral to the Office of the Public Defender. Still waiting for a case or five!!!

    Thanks, Vickie, for bringing this up. This all goes back to the idea that our business is relationship based!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*Consulting fees may vary. Results are atypical and may vary from person to person.
Copyright © 1999-2020 Vickie Milazzo Institute. All rights reserved. CLNC® and NACLNC® are registered trademarks of Vickie Milazzo Institute.