Organized networking is not part of a serious sales plan.
There are lots of networking organizations that promise an endless stream of prospects for business but, in fact, organized networking groups such as BNI or 4 Networking are filled with micro businesses and self-employed that cannot deliver significant opportunity for any growing business. These groups can play a role for the very small self-employed business. The problem is that ninety-nine percent of the membership of these organizations only employ the owner – there is no business opportunity! The result is a breakfast meeting filled with struggling businesses desperately looking for a prospect where few or none exist.
Why do real businesses not attend organized networking groups?
Established businesses develop relationships directly with a target business and do not depend on matchmakers or chance meetings at breakfasts or cocktail parties to develop a ‘friendship’ that will later develop into business. Doubt this? You will rarely, if ever, find an established business with more than a half a dozen employees at any organized networking event. An established business has a well-developed sales and marketing plan which provides the plans, resources and tools to sell effectively in the marketplace.
Established businesses do use networking but only with a focused and determined strategy connecting with similar businesses at industry events and business clubs. Even at business clubs such as the London Chamber or the IOD small and large businesses do not mix in the same circles. You can go to every networking event sponsored by the London Chamber and you will never meet the Patron members. The big fish and the small fish are swimming in different tanks!
How do you connect and do business with larger organizations that have the kind of budgets that will allow you to transform your business?
You need to prepare yourself and your business and professionally target larger companies. This means you need to develop the selling skills and strategy to effectively locate, connect and present. Then you need to sell and close the business. If you don’t have these skills then invest and build the knowledge to play in the real game of business!