Why Most Network Groups Suck!

Yes, that is right, most of the business networking groups that you see at every restaurant, hotel meeting room or banquet room at the country club Suck.

But why? Is it because there is a huge desperation for small business people to find a lot of customers quickly? Is it because there are some business people who thrive being the center of attention in everything they do, personal and professionally? Is it because many people have been using them and don’t know that there is anything else and they are caught up in the image thing that if I leave the group I will be looked upon as being untrustworthy?

All of the answer to these questions is YES!.

Now, if it sounds like I am being a little harsh, well thank you, because there are a lot of people out there who are starting up Networking Groups just to see how many people they can get into a room who need some tough talk from someone. So It might as well be me.

Yes, the notion with most groups is if this room will not hold us, then we will get a bigger room. A large crowd is the motivation of a number of groups. And what do you get out of being in a room with a lot of people? A lot of business cards is right, but do you get a lot of business? NO! Why? Because there are a lot of people in the room, DUH!.

So what would be a good way to network your business needs? Well there are a few and none of them consist of filling a ballroom with people. Has anyone ever thought of keeping the groups to less than 30? I know some have because I have been to a few, but why can’t that be the norm?

I know that those business people who live off making as many leads as you can hate these groups because usually there is already one of them in the group, but true business networking is not the number of connections you make a day it is the quality of the connections you make over time. And if all you are doing is passing and picking up business cards then the large groups will get that done for you, but no make any quality connections. Because everyone is too busy handing out business cards.

The best business deals come from meeting people who like you as a person first…not your business card. The sale is made from what you say and how you say it, and are not based from how good of a logo you have designed or what you put on your business card.

So, think twice when you are asked to join someone at a Business Networking group and they tell you to bring a box of business cards because you will need them. If you need that many business cards at one gathering then you can pretty well bet you are going to be attending a business networking group that sucks.

Scot Duke, President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, provides over 31 years of corporate management experience to helping small businesses improve their marketing strategies. As author of: How To Play Business Golf, Mr. Duke outlines the steps to sucessfully using golf as a business tool. To learn more about Mr. Duke, IBGS or to purchase How To Play Business Golf visit http://www.innovativebusinessgolf.com



Filed under Blogroll, Business, Business Golf

2 responses to “Why Most Network Groups Suck!

  1. So true! I’ll come right out and say it… I HATE networking functions like the ones you described in your post. I don’t even bother with them anymore. A waste of time. The networking functions that I’ve found useful are ones that have smaller groups, sometimes no more than 15, with each representing a different industry, and has a central facilitator.

    Five of us had organized a networking function called “One Degree” and brought together around 75 people (much larger group). To make this work, each person had to be personally known and invited by each of the five of us (hence one degree of separation). It was then our job to introduce each of these people to other people at the function – like a warm hand off. Therefore, each attendee knew at least one person coming in, and would leave being introduced to many more.

    To give it a more classy and memorable experience, we hosted it at an upscale lounge, provided valet parking, two free martinis, and brought in some improv actors we called “ice breakers” that ran around the room pretending to interview attendees to let them speak about themselves, and to provide all around comic relief. We charged $50 a head with all proceeds going to charity. It was a huge success. People didn’t mind spending a little more to get a more quality experience. It is as you said, “True business networking is not the number of connections you make a day it is the quality of the connections you make over time.”

  2. Now, see , this is what I am talking about and this solid business connecting happens online also.

    I know I am not making big friends with the printers who produce all of those Business Cards passed out at the mega functions, but the method you and I have mentioned as true Business Networking is MUCH more functional, meaningful, productive, humane, profitable and FUN.

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