Have you ever met someone at a networking event that seemed like a nice enough person, but when you take the time to sit with them one to one, all they do is talk about themselves and why you need their services? Have you ever felt slimed (for lack of a better word) by someone cornering you to give you their best sales pitch?

This is not networking with integrity. Yes, we all know the ultimate goal in networking is to grow our businesses, but it is not about selling. Let me say that again, networking is not about selling. Networking is about relationships, it’s about connecting with the people in the room on an emotional level that begins to build the “know, like, and trust factor” we all hear so much about.

C.S. Lewis says. “ Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” So how does this apply to planning your networking? It applies when you are evaluating your current networking and the connections you are making as well as the changes you’d like to make.

When evaluating your current networking, be truthful and honest with yourself. How would you grade yourself on your networking?

  • Are you networking regularly?
  • Are you making a point to spend time with your network?
  • Do you connect with other members?
  • Are you making introductions for your network (when no one is watching)?
  • Do you follow through and do the things you say you will (when no one is watching)?
  • Are you serving your network, or are you expecting your networking to serve you?

It’s okay if you fail in some areas, we all do. I network for a living and I will admit follow up is one of the hardest things for me even with my free Follow up Success System in place. The point is to own it and set your intentions to do better going forward. Each time you fail and try again, you get a little better. No one becomes an expert overnight.

When considering changing how and where you network, integrity plays a vital role in that decision making as well. Most times it’s obvious when it’s time to transition out of a group but be certain you are being honest with yourself before you jump.

  • Have you given the group a chance?
  • Do you like the people in the group?
  • Are you getting the connections you want from the group?
  • Have you built relationships that matter to you that you will lose if you move away?
  • Remembering that time is money, what’s the true ROI (return on investment) and is it worth it to stay for another year?

Be honest with yourself when you answer this question…

Is it them or is it me?

It’s okay if it’s you and you feel the need to move on. Sometimes we need to trust our gut when the time to move on presents itself. Just be honest with yourself so you know what to look for going forward and how to select your next networking group more carefully.

Most of the time people move on for one simple reason, the group dynamic has changes. You might find that you are experiencing growth beyond the group and the support you are receiving (or lack thereof) is no longer helpful or that your ideal client has shifted and you need to connect with different people who can help you with introductions.  Whatever the reason, it’s all good if you can answer yourself honestly as to why you are moving on and what you need in your next networking group.

At 30 Second Success we help business owners, professionals, and sales teams with business and networking strategy and crafting your brand message that connects with your audience on drives more business to your door. If you’re struggling to find the words that describe your brand and want to make better connections, schedule a call today.

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