It is very often that business owners misunderstand the purpose of online Networking Groups and see it as just another opportunity to advertise their business.
However, this is most definitely not the purpose! A networking group is a space where like-minded businesses can be introduced and helpful information can be shared to support one another in order to create a strong and welcoming industry to work in. This can have a knock on effect and start to falsely plant the idea in others members minds that this is what networking is, creating a mislead networking group.
A networking group is not just another advertising board for you to spam adverts in the hope you are going to attract business!
People think that constantly selling and constantly spamming groups with advertisements will get them more acknowledgement and recognition for their business with the hope to generate leads, or even sales. Where as, this in fact does the opposite, this is called ‘aggressive networking’. What most people easily mistake is that most successful business owners will avoid this type of person at all costs. This is the opposite aim of networking. Online networking groups are a space for fellow businesses to steadily develop valuable relationships and trust between one another. This could then gradually lead to referrals, introductions, which will then result in sales.
The most successful approach for online networking is by far the slow and steady approach, it takes time and effort to form long and lasting bonds. This approach will also depict a much more sincere and reliable image of yourself and your business, making you appealing to interact with, benefiting you in the long run. It is better to have a relationship that works both ways rather than developing a one sided, forced relationship which won’t give you anything in return.
No one likes to be sold to, but everyone likes to buy!
Look at it this way, we all know how irritating it can be to see a never ending list of advertising pitches in your emails and across all social media platforms, so why would you do exactly what you find frustrating to try and gain business? You should always place yourself in the clients shoes; what would you be looking for? And what would you be avoiding?
In doing this you will come across as a more approachable person in networking groups and it creates a more pleasant atmosphere in the group when everyone is taking the same approach. Making the online group a positive space will encourage more locally businesses to join and lead to bigger and better networking events, providing more opportunities for everyone and their businesses.
We really believe that having a sturdy relationship with likewise businesses is the key to business success. It’s a win – win situation, as both parties can share their area of expertise to educate the other where they need it. You should approach other networking members how you wish to be approached!
So next time you are considering just posting advert after advert, post after post in the hope that you are going to make sales; stop! Look to develop relationships, offer support, build trust and be a person of value.
If you would like to find out more about this deadly sin within networking groups, watch the video below:
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