Networking Tips #31 Be Selective

English: A Russell Stovers box of milk chocolates.

People will tell you that you need to be out networking in order to gain more business.  If you've been reading the Networking Tips blog posts - you'll have picked up a few tips on how to get the most from your networking.

One temptation is to attend every networking event going - taking a scattergun approach to getting your message out there.  You'll no doubt have come across people who seem to attend every networking event in their area.  Either they have too much time on their hands, or they aren't using networking effectively.

It's all very well attending every networking event if you've got time to handle all the follow-ups and it's your target group of potential clients or it relates to an industry that you work in.

Many of the networking groups are either free or low cost - so guess who they attract, small businesses, sole traders and people who are short on budget and looking for low-cost ways of marketing.  It's a great way to get started but as you'll quickly realise most people are selling and few are looking to give you business.

Some people even go along just for the social chit-chat.  That's great if you can afford the time to do this.  The evening networking events tend to be more popular for this.  It's a good way of ending a day and a great way to meet other like-minded business people, especially if you work on your own or work from home.

I've also heard from many people who are attracted by the large numbers that attend some of the networking events but then become frustrated that they never actually get to meet many people or they all seem very cliquey and it's difficult to break in.

Think about the ROI on your investment in networking.  Do you track and measure your networking or know what returns you're getting from all your networking time?  Which one's work better for you?

While the results of networking can be long-term, so less easy to measure, it's useful to know how many people you meet, how many you contact and how many take up any offers or subscribe to your list?

If you get one small piece of business from attending the same networking group year after year - would your time have been better spent focusing on another networking group that is more suited to your business?

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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