Where do you network?

That’s a question that I’m often asked and I suspect it’s because the enquirer feels they are not getting the results that they’d like from the effort they are putting into networking. They’re wondering if there is a networking event, meeting or group that they’re missing out on. One that would actually start to work for them.

I suspect they’re disillusioned with the lack of opportunities arising. After all networking is extremely time consuming and can be a big dent in your marketing budget. So it makes sense to keep an eye on what you are achieving from the networking you’re doing.

Are you getting the return on investment that warrants your ongoing commitment to a particular networking meeting or group?

I view RONI (return on networking investment) in two ways.

First are the hard measurements, which might include:

  1. Number of leads generated
  2. Number of introductions received
  3. Value of sales gained as a result of 1 & 2

Then there are the soft measurements:

  1. Am I constantly learning and picking up tips that are of value to me and my business?
  2. Do I value the opinions of the people I meet at the networking meetings?
  3. Do I feel that I could recommend the people that attend?

You may have other measurements too, such as if you belong to a membership organisation, what else do they offer and are you taking full advantage of the extra benefits they provide?

The missing piece of the networking jigsaw puzzle

There’s another reason why you may not be getting the RONI you desire.

Networking should not be a marketing activity carried out in isolation.

It’s just one piece of the jigsaw. The bigger picture includes:

  • Staying in touch and continuing to develop that initial acquaintance
  • Asking ‘How can I help you?’ Adding value by generously sharing your knowledge
  • Showing them how you’ve helped others too

This extra contact over and above the networking will ensure that when the time is right it’s you they’ll turn to. When the phone rings or the email arrives it could be many months or years down the line, but it’s at this point that the lead is generated and chances are it won’t have happened by networking alone.

It’s been achieved through combining networking with:

  • Content marketing – really helpful articles and tips
  • Email marketing – to keep in touch
  • Social media – generously sharing your knowledge

This is a lead generation process that serves me and the businesses I work with very well.

I’ve implemented it in many businesses and shown others how to use it for themselves. When planned and executed thoughtfully it works.  And I’d be more than happy to teach you how to gain leads in this way too.

If you’d like to learn how to use this lead generator yourself, please email me or give me a call on 07565 382803.