I recently had a conversation with an accountant who deals with pretty high end clients.
He mentioned he seen me pictured at a recent networking event and we got talking about the merits of networking.
He said it wasn’t something he would get involved with as he wouldn’t generally meet the type of client he deals with at a usual network meeting.
He said he had agreed with a solicitor he had spoken to regarding this, who had said attending meetings where the usual suspects from other local legal firms were hanging around, was just a waste of time.
Now I always emphasise that I’m a strong believer in network meetings but also networking in general. This is an important point you can network in various ways, it does not mean you are attending lots of meetings under the banner of networking groups.
As I pointed out to my friend he and his business partner have an incredible networking referral system going on. They generate huge quality business from this, which is one of the reasons he doesn’t really need to attend structured local meetings.
The point is some businesses have an effective referral scheme built in. Others have fantastic associations with other companies that generate recipricol work for each other.
I wrote my first blog after Lord Sugar had annoyed me with his comments on networking. But as I pointed out he will have a very strong contact structure built into his business through many years of his own style of networking. All business done through referrals is achieved through your network in my book.
The structured weekly/fortnightly meetings are sometimes derided by some and dreaded by others but if you don’t have that referall generation built into your business it could be that this environment may be essential to you creating this environment.
Social Media/networking helps and once you have established that contact base through Network meetings then staying in contact and helping out the people you get on with and can work alongside builds, strengthens and grows your essential connections.
What I am essentially trying to get accross is that if you have a constant stream of referalls and business then you already have a strong network. If you don’t, you need to find the best type of networking to suit you and your business to create this stream.
Breakfast meetings aren’t the right way for everyone but don’t discount them before you’ve tried.
But we all need to network and some people think they don’t network but they do. But the certainty is that if you lock yourself and your company away in your office and don’t build connections of some sort you won’t grow and thrive.
Thanks for reading.