Participating in a business networking group is to some extent like being a farmer. You plant the seed in the hope that you will reap the fruit.
In a way, paying your membership fee for the networking group is like planting the seed. Like paying the membership for the gym. Like registering in the Spanish language academy. It's a great first step. Nothing less, and nothing more.
Unless you water the seed, protect the land from animals in the field, and create the right conditions for growth, you may expect something that will never occur.
So it goes with your networking efforts. Let me tell you the story of Josh Van Damme (imaginary name). Josh is a very nice guy. He owns a printers. Very good at what he does. He joined BTB Club in January 2019. In his interview he responded that his commitment with being on time, participating, and taking the initiative in helping fellow members was a 10 out of 10!
Almost every week Josh he was receiving plenty of internal and external referrals. Business cards, brochures, folders, photo calls, roll ups, signs, you name it. Happy days!
After being late ish most of the times, he started to miss most meetings. He was great at asking for referrals, but he very rarely brought referrals for anybody else. Well, maybe it was too soon. Perhaps he did not have the time to get to know the new members that joined while he stopped coming.
But not to worry. Fellow members understood that he was receiving good opportunities and great connectors while he was struggling to reciprocate. Never mind taking the initiative!
What about helping his colleagues in the networking group by bringing visitors that could help them? That requires way less effort than giving referrals, right? To be honest, Josh did talk to a few people during his first quarter as a member. Maybe he spoke to four or five people? He didn't actuallly send them an invite on email with the information about the networking group. He sort of said something. but never got round to send the link for the visitor to register to a meeting. So he actually brought zero visitors and gave almost zero referrals.
His colleagues at the networking club started to feel a little bit uneasy. He would have SWOT exchange meetings with them and promis