A Principle of Networking
The following is an observation I’ve made, based off recent experiences: “If you and a person belong to multiple groups, the potential for that person to do business with you or refer business to you is increased, due to more frequent contact.”
I’ve made this observation due to recently doing business with several people that I know from multiple networking groups. I met them in one group or another, and then later when I joined another group they were apart of, we interacted more and shortly after they were willing to do business with me. In both cases, I’d known each person for over a year and we’d interacted some, but going to an additional meeting each week provided enough contact for them to feel justified in doing business with me. With that said, it was important that I belonged to the same groups as they did. It showed me a social principle at work, in the sense that belonging to a group created a social tie, in and of itself, that was important to people who belonged to that group.
Networking is one of the ways you build a business, and it makes sense that the social connections you make in different groups go a long way toward qualifying you to other people. Committing yourself to a networking group shows you are invested in the relationships you are building and demonstrates that you want to help other people succeed in their business. Not surprisingly that in turn contributes to their willingness to do business with you.
This doesn’t mean that I’d suggest joining every networking group you can get into. You only have so much time to network and networking is about quality relationships over quantity relationships, but its worthwhile to recognize that joining several groups can help you build relationships with people and increase the chances you’ll do business with someone if you know him/her from more than one group.