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How to spot good networking groups

How do you know if you’re in a good networking group?

When is it time to look for a new group?

More important: Can you make your networking group better?

Short answer: You can – even if you aren’t the group leader!

Scroll down for the simplest way to improve your results in your networking group.

First, though, here are the 3-C’s of good networking groups:

1. Content

Are you learning?

In good networking groups, you improve your business and networking skills.

I’ve seen groups offer discussion topics, workshops, presentations, articles, mentoring, and demonstrations.

You can learn from each other and from outside experts.

What have you learned in the past month from your networking group? 

2. Connection

Good networking groups encourage coffee meetings.

It’s important to attend your group meetings – but that’s only about 15% of the work of networking.

The rest of the work is getting to know people outside the context of the meeting.

People call them 1-to-1’s, coffee meetings, troikas, or networking meetings.

If nobody talks to each other outside the meetings, that’s a bad sign.

If people don’t take you up on an invite to coffee, that’s also a bad sign.

The best groups offer a structured way to connect with each other on an ongoing basis outside the group meetings.

How many coffee meetings have you had this month?

3. Collaboration

Group members have much more to offer each other than merely client referrals.

Market intelligence, industry trends, client insights, business best practices, and more.

Are people working together in the group?

Are they sharing clients?

Do they seek each other out for advice and expertise?

Networking is a team sport.

So – want better results from your networking group?

Then… Drink More Coffee!

Attending coffee meetings is the single best way to identify more opportunities for you and everyone else in your group.

Three good questions to ask:

  • How did you get started in your line of work?
  • Can you tell me about a recent client success?
  • Do you have any trips planned?

Already had a coffee meeting with everyone in your group?

Start over again!

You can sit down with people every 4 – 6 months.

They have new clients, have learned new skills, and may be selling new products.

The same will be true of you.

So much to catch up on – so much to talk about!

Get in a rhythm of having coffee meetings with everyone 2 or 3 times a year.

Want more ideas for getting better at virtual business networking?

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