Tammy M
Network groups are one of the most successful ways to create word of mouth to market your business. A referral can create a chain reaction and start a windfall of opportunities.

You membership in a networking group can generate regular income but it requires that you contribute to the network groups you participate to ensure your return on investment. Especially if you calculate your time, gas and money on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis you want to ensure that your investment provides a return.

Your success will be realized when you have developed the relationships and created trust that the other group members begin to open up and give you their best referrals. Make sure that you are not creating an unprofessional image that cause you to not gain from your investments and waste your time.

Here are things to ensure you are wasting your time in a networking group:

  • When it is your turn to do your 30 second commercial or your presentation just wing it. Don’t keep up with the latest offering of your business. After all it still is the same old stuff.
  • Use one-on-one meetings to talk about your networking groups' issues instead of learning more about each other.
  • Focus your efforts primarily on selling your services to members of the group.
  • Make sure that you gossip or complain about other networkers and guests. The person you are speaking to wants to hear your complaints.
  • When you get a referral don’t feel that you need to contact the person right away. They know where to find you if they really need you.
  • During the 30 second commercials is a great time to check your text messages. You have heard everyone's commercial before. It just the same ol same ol and you’ll see them again next week.
  • Inviting guests is a lot of work and you can just depend on other people in the group to invite guests.
  • Make sure that you take the phone call or check you messages during the meeting. It doesn't bother anyone; and it shows that you put your customers first above all else and everyone admires that.

If someone is continually these sure fire time wasters, then how enthusiastic are you about giving them referrals. Your connections are valuable.

Business networking requires your commitment to each member and to the group. Make a decision that you will be a participant and support the network groups that you are involved with and the support your give will be reciprocated.

Again, it all comes down to relationships and nurturing your relationships with others. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time.

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