Networking with the Same Old Crowd

It can happen to any of us. You show up at the monthly networking lunch and you suddenly realize that you know everyone there. In fact, you don’t remember seeing a new person at the event for the past couple of times. Maybe it’s time to leave group and search for some greener pastures.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Before you hit the road, you might want to consider a few ideas.

  1. Are you still meeting your networking goals? For example, if the desired outcome is to build your business and you are getting plenty of referrals from this group, wouldn’t you have to be a fool to leave?
  2. Are you bringing in new members? Bring a guest to the next event. They may not be new to you, but the other members will appreciate a chance to meet someone new. They might even learn from your example.
  3. Do you really know the other members? Meet with the other regulars for coffee or lunch. Until you know their goals and dreams, how can you really say that you know them?
  4. Why don’t you have any new members? Is the group not approachable? Is it part of a natural cycle? Approach the group’s leadership to find out which it is and offer to help either way.
  5. Are you willing to put in the time needed to network in a new group? It probably took you six months to a year before you started seeing some benefit from being in the current group. It will probably be the same in any new group. That being the case, would it be just as easy to stick around and help your current group through the difficult times?
Remember that good networking in a group requires time and patience. When the group seems to be stagnating, unless you honestly think there’s no reason to stay, you are usually better off rolling up your sleeves and helping out. Not only will the existing members appreciate the contributions you make, they are far more likely to remember you and be willing to help you out in the future.
Photo credit: Matthew Keogh
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About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.

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