When you begin any business that is based on network marketing, one of the key things that will drive your success is communication and networking. It’s right there in the name of what you’re doing, after all, and being able to effectively meet, interact, and communicate with as many potential partners, team members, and customers as you can is a key element in success within the multi-level marketing world.
There are a lot of different tools out there that can help with this, too. While you’ll obviously want to grow your own list of leads and potential team members, one thing that can’t be overlooked is using all of the tools available to build a larger network of contacts – no matter their specific level of interest or relevance to your business.
There are plenty of options out there for doing just that, but one that is often ignored by far too many network marketers is that of networking groups. Sometimes called networking clubs, these organizations are a key element in creating a truly successful, national business out of your efforts. As with anything, getting the most from them means understanding what they have to offer as well as their limitations. But if you utilize them correctly, there is no question that networking groups have the power to take your network marketing business to the next level.
Networking is Universal
Before we get into the specifics of networking groups, it’s worth touching on one simple fact – in the world of business, networking is universal for success. The reality is this: people will almost always prefer to do business with someone they know in some capacity instead of those that they discover through an advertisement.
It’s important to understand that business networking isn’t about just making a sale. When you network, it’s important that you go into the process with the goal of forging professional connections, improving your relationships with others in the field, increasing your knowledge, building skills, and more. You’re not trying to network to sell each person or group you connect with your products. You’re forming alliances that help you take your business to the next level in a variety of different ways.
Networking is a must for any business, and it’s much more than just trying to land a sale. If you’ll keep this in mind you’ll be able to get much more from the process and from what networking groups have to offer to you. Understanding it is the first step towards your goals
What Are Networking Groups?
So just what are networking groups, exactly? There are basically two different types of groups that we’ll touch on here, and at their heart they have the same principle – bringing together multiple people, organizations, and companies in a single group or club that lets all members connect with one another. The goal is to form partnerships, gain referrals, get new ideas, and more.
As we mentioned above, there are two primary types of networking groups: Major, national or international ones that have been going strong for years, and smaller ones that people start on their own – you could even start your own networking group if you desire.
Each of these types of groups has pros and cons that make them worth taking a closer look at, so it’s important to pay attention to them both. If you use them properly they could take your business to a whole new level of success. We’ll touch on the process of starting your own group in a bit, but for now let’s focus on joining existing networking groups, what they can do for you, and why they’re so important for the serious network marketer.
A Closer Look at Major Networking Groups
There are several major networking groups out there that have been working for businesses for years. These groups have thousands of members and usually cost a few hundred dollars in order to become a member. But that money is an investment that is well worth it in the long term due to the fact that being a member usually means getting big returns and larger numbers of referrals.
What happens in these groups? It really depends on the group you’re in. Some work on a ‘giver’s gain’ system wherein the more that you refer fellow members, the more that referrals are directed back to you in return. Others are designed with goals in mind. You’ll set up your goals and connect with others who are part of the club who have similar goals and visions.
Referrals are generally the foundation of these groups, and they are what happen when a member of the networking group provides you with the name of someone that is in their network who they feel will be interested in what you have to offer. You’ll get a solid referral instead of a cold lead that you have to work, and you essentially skip a step in the process of marketing and lead generation since you’re getting a direct line to the person who your fellow member is associated with.
This system of referrals is the lifeblood of most networking groups, but it’s not all that exists. The group itself will often help you stand out. Someone may join the group and be looking for a particular product or opportunity. Your group could recommend you specifically.
There are plenty of networking groups out there working at different levels. Even your local chamber of commerce is a type of networking group, and whether you’re a part of it or something that is on a national level, it’s important that you don’t’ overlook what these groups have to offer you. One of the most well known and highly respected groups is BNI, which is spread out over multiple countries and can help you connect with a wide range of others.
The Big Benefits of Major Networking Groups
Now that you have a basic idea about what networking groups are, the next step is taking a look at what they can offer to you and why they’re so important. If you’re unsure of just why it is that you should take the time and money needed to invest into these groups seriously, let’s break down some of their key benefits. They include the following.
- You’ll be able to access potential leads that you wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. Yes, the idea of networking groups isn’t to directly sell to those in the group with you. But your fellow members will help funnel leads in your direction as you do the same for them. It’s a win-win scenario that makes a lot of sense and can drive up your sales significantly.
- The connections that you make within a networking group could help lead to even better things. You could land partnerships, find new marketing opportunities, expose your company and brand in new ways, and much more. Simply put, you’ll be part of an organization that is dedicated to connecting different members with one another to help them all find better success. You’re not working against anyone – you’re working with them. For example, groups like Le Tip are designed to create a strong sense of purpose and will feature multiple members helping each other.
- As mentioned above, since you’ll be getting referrals instead of those cold leads that other methods of building your business involve, you’ll actually make connections that will end up working for you. The referred parties are more likely to give you their time and attention than if you just contacted them out of the blue, which in turn means that you’ll be more likely to see your bottom line rise in a meaningful way.
- By connecting with peers, partners, and others in the business world, you’ll also learn a tremendous amount that you couldn’t in other pursuits. Instead of trying to just read some online articles, you’ll learn in a more hands on approach and be able to hone your skills in order to get the most from your business.
- You also get more from your time and energy. ROI – Return On Investment – is an important term in the business world. In short, the better the gains you get from your investment, the better off you are. With networking groups, you’re more likely to get better results than you would in other types of marketing projects. As a result, your time and energy is spent more effectively.
These are just a few benefits that you’ll gain from networking groups. In the end, the simple fact is that it will boost your bottom line in a variety of ways and ensure that your business has the best possible advantages it can get.
Getting More From Your Membership
So just how can you go about getting more from your membership and your time in the networking group of your choice? We’ve found that keeping a few basic things in mind can have a tremendous impact on your results within a networking group. Here are some of the main points to remember.
- Learn the rules. Every networking group is different, and making sure that you understand the basics of how it works is the first step in the process. This sounds obvious, but a surprising number of people join a group and never fully learn how to use all of its features.
- Similarly, do your research. There are numerous types of networking groups out there, and it’s important that you find the ones that actually fit into your current business model in the best possible way so you can improve and enhance your ability to make the right connections and help your company grow. For example, the Women’s Power Networking Groups are devoted to helping women succeed. Look for organizations that fit your situation.
- You get what you give in most networking groups. Referrals from you meant that you’ll get more referrals back. Participation in various events or activities in the group will help raise your level of visibility. In short, be sure that you take the time to actually be active within the group. It will make a big difference.
There’s no question that you’ll have to commit to your networking group in order to make it work. Attending meetings and other events, sending out communications as needed, and other steps are all very common and must be taken in order to get the best results. But that effort is well worth it in the end, and could have a big impact on your ability to move your company into the future.
Starting Your Own Networking Group
We touched on this earlier, and the fact is that you could simply start your own networking group if you need to. This is an option when you don’t have a group nearby that fits your specific needs and that will advance your career properly. However, it’s risky and involves even more work than just being a part of a group.
In order to succeed here, you need to do research and learn more about just what networking groups actually do in the first place. As a result, it’s best to join a group and use it for a bit just to identify the pros and cons and the basic structure. From there, if you choose to develop your own networking group it will be much easier to do so.
If you choose to, be sure to be specific in terms of what you’re looking for, whom you want to join, and what your overall goal and structure will be. This helps keep your vision clearly in mind as you attract new members.
Your network marketing organizations needs a lot in order to truly thrive. Networking groups can take a lot of work and require commitment from you in order to be a member. However, their benefits are numerous and can make it far easier for any business to succeed. Start off by joining one for yourself and see how it works. You may not need to go further and start your own, but no matter what steps you end up taking it’s worth looking at what networking groups can do for your business and your bottom line.
Take some time and research the different options out there. Find the one that matches your business and your goals, and you should be able to start taking your company to the next level. It’s a straightforward solution to making connections that will help you find the success you deserve.