Don’t Treat Networking Like The Gym
Category : Blogs
At one of our recent meetings, a member commented on the fact that many people would book places on her free workout sessions but not turn up, often without any notice that they weren’t going to be there. This is something of a trend across the fitness world, and I have noticed similar things happen for paid, pre-booked gym classes. It’s also something that tends to happen a lot with business networking sessions. Particularly over the summer months, when the number of no-shows soars dramatically and many meetings are postponed or cancelled so everyone can enjoy their holidays. But for the rest of the year, it’s important to remember not to treat your networking like your gym membership.
There is common saying that nothing worth doing in life is easy, which for many things is true. Getting in shape, learning a new skill or starting your own business are all great examples of worthwhile things that are in no way easy. But there are some things, like networking, that fall into the ‘easy’ category while still being incredibly valuable.
The biggest issue people find with networking is not that it’s hard, but that it requires The biggest issue people find with networking is not that it’s hard, but that it requires commitment to see results. Just like you don’t do one session in the gym and expect a six pack, you can’t expect to go to one meeting and come away with dozens of new clients right away. In order to see the long-term results, you need to commit to turning up regularly and interacting with people. If you can do that, the rewards will soon follow.
Don’t Throw In The Towel
I read a very interesting article about gym memberships in the process of researching this blog. It turns out that a staggering 80% of new gym members don’t make it past the 5th month. So even if an average individual has neglected their body for years and wants that ‘beach ready’ body, they are only willing to commit 5 months of their life to trying to get in shape before giving up. This struck a chord with me, as it’s something I often see with networking and even business ownership in general. Business owners are willing to try out networking for a few months, but if they have not seen any results in that time they give up on the whole idea. Networking, just like getting in shape, is a long process that doesn’t happen overnight. So just because you’ve been going to a meeting a week for a month and not got a single referral doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Stick with it and you will see those amazing results.
Tell Someone If You Can’t Make It
We all understand that life gets in the way, and sometimes something crops up at the last minute and ruins your plans. But no matter what the situation, it’s important to always tell the person or group that you will be unable to attend that day. You see it a lot with gym classes – you’ve booked in to a class at 7pm and you’re super excited, but by 6.30 you’re exhausted and don’t have the ‘get up and go’ that you did when you booked in that morning. After 5 or 10 minutes of pep talk, you realise you can’t get there in time anyway and just stay at home instead. Meanwhile the instructor at the class is waiting for you, irritated that she could have given your space to someone else if you’d just told her you couldn’t make it.
The same applies for booked networking. Maybe you slept in because you had a long night, or had an emergency issue or your childcare fell through. When you realise you can’t make the meeting, whatever the reason, you should let someone in the organisation know you can’t be there. Often they will be able to find someone to hot seat for you at the last minute – so you can still have your pitch read out and reap some of the benefits of the meeting.
At 10-12 we believe in a structured networking approach combined with a more informal attitude to create the perfect networking environment. Our meetings are structured, but allow time for individual development and conversations to take place. Like all networking groups, it can take time to see results, but our members have all been extremely impressed after building strong business connections and friendships. For more information or to book your place, get in touch today.