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Is Networking working?

Part 1:

Networking is NOT working! The process has been hijacked. Too many business owners attend traditional networking meetings only to find:

1. The wrong people.

2. The wrong process.

3. The wrong philosophy.

The Wrong People

You can’t have a productive meeting with the wrong people in attendance. A true network is designed around mutuality, you help me and I will help you. In order for this process to work, like-minded people must be in attendance. Most small-to-medium-size business owners who sell to other businesses (B2B) find few other B2B businesses at traditional networking meetings.

When the bulk of the attendees at a networking meeting are the wrong people, what’s the point? Sure, there are many people in attendance. But if they are not the right type of people, isn’t the meeting just a cocktail party? A good meeting of un-networkers is full of like-minded business people with similar interests.

Business people attend networking meetings to get introductions to meaningful people, in particular, prospects. But there are no prospects at networking meetings, only salespeople. Never in the history of networking has someone said:

“Gosh, our copier is acting up. I think I will go to the networking meeting tonight and see if I can’t find someone to sell us a copier.”

At traditional networking meetings, virtually all of the attendees are there to sell something. The room is full of people, and talking to lots of people can be enjoyable. This enjoyment is what creates the buoyant feeling of networking but inevitably falls short of any meaningful relationship building. Ask yourself: Does the person you are talking to at a networking meeting have a need for your product, the decision-making power, and the financial ability to purchase it? The answer is always “NO.” Perhaps we need Un-Networking?

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About the Author

Jim Muehlhausen, CEO Focus
9465 Counselors Row Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46240

If you would like to re-print this article, please contact the author.
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