Traditional networking is playing pin the tail on the donkey.
You’re blindfolded, pushed in a general direction and trying to pin a tail on a target. You wander around and do your best – but no one hits the target… because you can’t see where you’re going.
In traditional networking groups you’re in a group with a completely random group of non-competing professionals. You wander from person to person hoping they will refer a client to you (this they like to call “working the group” with 1-on-1’s).
Don’t you think it’s time to take the blindfold off?
Random Groups of non-competing professionals get referrals randomly.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked people what they think of their networking group and they tell me they love their group. So I then say “wow, that’s great – how many people in your group?” They reply 30, 40 or 50. I then ask “how many do you get referrals from?” They always reply 2 – 4 people. When I ask why 90% of their group doesn’t refer them to new qualified prospects they usually justify the lack of results by saying things like “you never know” and I just need to keep “working the room.”
The real reason people only get referrals from about 10 – 15% of their group is because the other 85 – 90% of the group does not know the decision makers you are looking to meet. They are not in your world. They may call on B2C when your focus is on B2B. They may call on small businesses in one industry, while you call on lower middle market businesses in another industry. Most people in networking groups sincerely may want to help, but just are unable to because they don’t have the contacts you need.
Take that blindfold off so you’re not randomly pinning the tail on the wall or the donkey’s head, but instead on your target.
If you are looking to meet specific people, ONLY hang out with people who know the people you want to meet. Duh.
This is the most basic marketing concept. If you are trying to reach a specific audience because they are most likely to have the problem you provide a solution for, then don’t blast your message to everyone with a pulse. Target your message to those you have defined as most likely customers. ONLY join a networking group where everyone is most likely to know the decision makers you want to meet.
So, what does a group like this look like (and where can I find one)? It’s really quite simple. The people who are most likely to know the decision makers you are looking to meet are those professionals who call on the same target customers you do.
(1) They already have clients that you have defined as “most likely to have the problem you provide the solution for,” and
(2) Every moment in their business development efforts they are looking for new decision makers that also match your target market description.
This will take the randomness out of your networking results.
Groups Who Share Target Markets Provide Huge Added Value
Now that you have the right people in the room, these people also become the best people to give advice on how to build your client base within your shared target market. As the expression goes: “don’t give someone a fish, teach them how to fish.” So now your networking group has also become a mastermind group. These groups often go from giving advice on improving professional and personal growth skills to giving high quality referrals in no time. Now tell me, when has your traditional networking group ever done that?
Want to stop wasting your most valuable resource (time) by randomly meeting people in the random group of people in your traditional networking group. Want to take the blindfold off and actually pin the tail on the donkey? Then sample a Collaberex group as our guest. See if we have a group that matches your target market. Click here to Stop Wasting Your Time