by CEO on July 17th, 2014

Net In Progress

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “Where should I network?” The simple answer: “Network where you have the best chance of meeting your prospect.”

Get involved with at least three of the following types of groups. You may already be involved in one or two and not recognize the group as a networking opportunity.

Networking Groups – There are two types of networking groups: Chambers of commerce and speed networking. The main reason people participate is for networking opportunities. It is classified as open networking: anyone can participate and you will find your competitors there. Chamber events usually have little structure while speed networking has highly structured events.

Interest Groups – There are seven basic types of interest groups: hobby, educational, political, homeowner, alumni, sports and athletic, and cultural. These groups vary as to how often they meet and in structure. However, they have one thing that is beneficial to the networking professional – they’re relaxed. So why’s that a benefit? Well, people aren’t there to do business yet people like to buy from people they feel comfortable with. Let members know what you do without trying to sell to them. Give a little ‘free advice’ on occasion and be a resource for members. But more than anything – enjoy yourself and get involved.

Professional Groups – There are a variety of professional groups ranging from single occupation to business associations to private clubs. These groups usually have membership requirements based on your occupation or professional categories. The benefit of becoming involved with these groups are keeping up with trends in your industry (or an affiliated industry); sharing of ideas; learning new skills; and developing friendly competition.

Gender Groups – This category consists of men’s and/or women’s clubs, fraternities and sororities, and fraternal orders. You may or may not find your competitors at these groups. The benefits of becoming involved are varied and personal to each member.

Referral Groups – These groups are closed contact groups meaning you have exclusive membership and will not have your competitor on your team. These include groups such as REO, BNI, LeTip and various independents. Before joining one of these groups look at who the target market is of each of the members NOT the members themselves. Also look at the quality of referrals (ask to see the copies of the referrals passed that day).

Service, Spiritual & Support – Groups in this category include charitable groups, support groups and religious groups. Doing business at these groups is frowned upon (if done openly and aggressively) however, business is done within these groups every day. Join them for the community connection, do business as a side benefit.

You may reproduce this information in any electronic format as long as you include the following: Author: Raeus Jae Cannon, CEO & Founder of REO, LLC (Referral Exchange Organization).

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with Networking, Networking Groups, Where to Network


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