The leader of a branded networking membership group proudly announces that his is the biggest networking group in London. This post is about why the size of a networking group is not always an accurate indication of it’s success or quality, why bureaucracy is a turn off and how networkers can rise above it.
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A willing informer…
I’m sitting in a networking meeting – the brand of which, and time of day are unimportant. A visitor to the group takes the seat next to mine. He whispers; “I used to be in the biggest group in London” and tells me he’s looking for a new group. I was educated that turnover is vanity and profit is sanity. So I’m always interested in a groups results rather than it’s size.
History repeating itself?
Curious to know why he left such a large group, I decide to ask him. He didn’t hesitate to tell me that his previous networking group “got really bureaucratic and people felt they were being treated like kids”.
Coincidently, at that very moment there’s an announcement by the leadership team that they aren’t happy with absenteeism in the group, and plan to penalise those that didn’t have a reasonable reason for not showing up in future. The guy next to me groans. As do I.
In or out? Or put yourself about?
So what do we do? Leave or not join the group? Probably not wise if you have built relationships with great people. That is where the hidden profits are.
I decided to act as if the bureaucratic announcement hadn’t happened (much like the recession) and continue to contribute to all the members success. That way, I can protect all the relationships I have built. It’s good for me, and it’s good for the group. And if our group continues to attract attention becuase of it’s results the cream will rise to the top.
Wrap up: If a group leaders asks me why visitors are not joining I’ll be happy to explain the main reason why their time and effort spent trying to recruit new members is going to waste. The same applies in online groups.
Top tip: Try not to focus on the negative elements of networking groups, try to contribute to the success of the group. Protect and nurture all the relationships you have built, which is not only good for you, but it makes the group more enjoyable to be a part of. Check out our free downloads section for 5 top tips when considering networking groups.
Who to share this with: Networking Group participants, Networking Group Owners, and groups looking for new members.
Coming soon: from Beyond Networking: The Networking Economist – Special Report