Have you attended networking events? How many?Have you gotten the return on investment AND energy you were looking for and wanted when calculate the amount of hours you have spent in your career involved within this circumstance? I am going to say no and feel free to disagree if you wish. If you know the answer is no then why haven't you changed up your strategy and why do tolerate getting the same results?Because you choose to. It is that simple.It
It does not make logical (which may be the problem... future blog) sense to do the same thing and get the same result. As Rita Mae Brown, in her 1983 book "Sudden Death," her fictional character "Jane Fulton," wrote, 'Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.' Sorry Albert. Call it insane, ludicrous, crazy-whatever you like. Yet we continue to invest time, energy, and our hard earned dollars into our materials/collateral for little return.
There is no standard formula for calculating ROI where networking is concerned, however, one needs to assess their own standards based on
TIME+ENERGY+INVESTMENT (Joining Fees/Marketing Materials/Collateral/B’fasts/Lunches/Coffee’s etc = ROI
Precursor to this statement: Do not get me wrong, I am by no means discrediting the many networking groups that support business advancement. I am saying when you go into these environments, own your message, yourself and the outcome you wish to produce.
What Can We Do To Change The Dynamic?
I have spent MANY years of networking in the hope that it would generate the desired business opportunities I was looking for. I found being a connector, what usually happened is that I would easily generate business for other people constantly but did not experience, in my case, the same return. Admittedly, I do not run a ‘widget company’, by that I mean a tangible service/product. I run businesses that sell intangible experiences and for most people, until they experience it, they do not know they want and or need it. Given that the majority of people are disconnected personally and professionally it’s a different sales proposition. What do I mean by this? People don’t relate to things that are not working in their personal and or professional lives because the results or lack there of are not 'painful' enough and are emotionally unaware of the costs... so it is something they tolerate.So what have I learnt and what I now teach is stop tolerating not getting the return on investment you desire.
What will eliminate a lot of the wasted time at a networking even is become really aware of the costs of your years of networking at this point in your career and accept the return on investment you haven't gotten. Once you get present to the cost, you will change your game I guarantee it. Secondly, check out who you are BEING. It isn't fair to you and nor does it make sense to continue to show up week after week, month and month, to networking events and you are not forwarding your game. Lastly, you have to make it easy for people to explain what you do – sometimes people find it difficult to refer you because they do not know HOW to explain what you do. To assist them, explain that you offer a free consultation.
Owning Your Presence
Owning your presence may seem a foreign concept to some-this is a journey of its own. Don't think it comes with a time tag of many years. It comes down to you making the choice. People make it hard for themselves by driving, striving and/or forcing an outcome. Have you experienced someone doing ‘looking good’ at a networking event? It wouldn't surprise me if you said yes and had multiple examples. These individuals are operating over the top of their fear. They constantly are trying to ‘get it right’, ‘have it handled’, and as a result are so NOT present. DO NOT let this be you because you will lose out on so many opportunities because your fear will show through and it doesn't show you have faith in yourself and service. Your next networking even after reading this article will be ten times better than all of the networking events you have been to previously! You were born to be great and have a lot to offer. Practice your pitch before you go to the networking event you can seamlessly say it. The more you are impactful at your networking event the faster your ROI will be and the less money you will spend on networking events.