I belong to a networking group or two. Most of us do, in business, I think.
- Marana Chamber of Commerce (GREAT, loyal group)
- My own personal Wine Whine group of mostly ladies that meet once a month.
- A "Best of the West" group a co-worker is forming.
- A few others I occasionally attend, but haven't JOINED.
I watched an interesting personal video from a member of Marana Chamber of Commerce recently, and parts of it are still resonating. One of those things I've ingested and it keeps making it's way to the surface.
Within it, "John" said, (I'm going to call him John in my story here) "networking is NOT about the individual attending".
To elaborate, he went on the say that in successful, referral-based groups, networking is about being part of a whole. It's about being there for others.
To push that thought a bit further:
Suppose your networking group has a presenter, like Toastmasters. Or a presentation, or a sponsor...
Put yourself in their shoes. They are spending their time and efforts to bring a quality product or service to the attention to the group. What if, that week, we decided not to show... What if almost everyone didn't show...
How does that affect the effectiveness of the group, the morale, and so on?
Now, fast forward to today. Why am I once again thinking of John's Facebook speech?
I help a group of mostly newer agents in our office at Dove Mountain. Most weeks, there are around 10 attendees, which is cool because that's almost 25% of the office (that generally comes IN to an office) attending regularly. This is a volunteer "Accountability" group that I personally find inspirational -- one of the reasons I try to keep it going.
The group requested that we have an "Ask the Experts" panel, which was put together and promoted for two weeks prior, during the same time as our weekly meeting. I had 6 panelists to speak: A former real estate designated broker, focusing on the inspection period and requests for repairs, etc; a Pillar to Post home inspector; a licensed gas/plumbing/heating/AC/hot water heater professional; ListerPros that help with photography, drones, marketing materials, websites; 2-10 Home Warranty, and the Vice President of Long Realty to answer questions about FSBO's and Expireds, among other questions.
So...pretty full, intelligent and experienced panel. Attendees were asked to bring their questions!
Of the newbies, 5 were missing. 50%. Half.
I KNOW stuff comes up, we get sick, etc. etc. etc.
But I found myself thinking about the "responsibility" of being in a group, and how volunteers might feel when they are let down, including myself.
We still had decent attendance, many experienced agents came for the presentation -- and I think the presenters felt validated.
But still - think about the networking groups you have committed to. Is someone counting on you? Will you experience the importance you play in your next networking opportunity?