Sunday, 1 November 2009

What DON'T you like about business networking?

I guess because I've used business networking so much and, allegedly, so successfully, that I don't quite get it when other people claim that it won't work for them or that they just don't see the value in it enough to even try it.

So today, an open question. What don't you like about business networking? What is stopping you going to business networking meetings or, if you do attend, what is stopping you doing more of it? Do you feel you're getting enough value from the groups and meetings you attend and, if not, why not?

What would you like to see more of? Or less of? What would be the IDEAL business networking format for you?

I'm genuinely interested and in will help me to understand what else I can offer that might help. Comment on here, or @ me on Twitter - @stefnet

I don't have all the answers, but if there's anything you reckon you could do better at networking events, let me know that as well.

Have a good Sunday :-)


  1. It depends on which kind of networking you mean! I dislike the open room type, since it can be hard to identify the people you would really like to speak to. I also have an issue with the noise levels at these events, as it can be hard to focus on a conversation.

    I have also found certain networking groups where everyone just wants to arrange contra deals but not to talk about any other kind of business relationship. It actually put me off networking at all for a while as it was so wearing.

  2. Neil Capstick01/11/2009, 16:37

    I am not keeen on some events where there are a lot of micro businesses that dont really "get" networking. They go for the hard sell all the time and are so wrapped up in themselves that you know they will never give a referral, even if they did take the time to get to know your business

  3. Like Lisa, I'm really not a fan of those big, open events which seem to have little or no structure. Success (however you define it) at events like that is entirely down to your own self confidence in 'working the room' Lazy approach by organisers imho

    I also HATE speed-networking. I know others think it's great, but for me it's little more than a business card gathering exercise. I find it utterly exhausting and end up sounding completely garbled after about person number 5.

    If I was looking for help in making my own networking more effective, I guess it would be how to make my 40/60 secs really powerful. Not as in 'sell people stuff' but more about creating a desire for people to find out more.

    I actually don't mind the early starts (within reason) as I find the breakfast meets I do attend motivating and energising which helps with the rest of my day.

  4. Jules Addison01/11/2009, 18:26

    I have nothing against networking. After all, having a chat to someone you pass in the street is networking of one form or another. What I dislike are people who are obsessed by so called networking groups and like to tell everyone that you must join or attend in order to be a success. I realise that such networking events work extremely well for certain business types and I rejoice in their success.

    However, I have walked away from networking groups whose members cannot accept that for others it is less useful. I have two successful businesses neither of which would benefit from networking breakfast type events.

    For me the best form of networking is buying doughnuts for the girls in the office since they are the ones who keep my diary full!

  5. Thanks all :-) it's a big help.

    Answers, sort of.

    Lisa and Neil, yep, I get that completely, it's a shame that more people don't get it. I've also been through the hard sell and contra/joint venture discussions (I quite like paying my mortgage, it's a personal thing, so doing business that actually makes money for either me, the person I'm talking to, or ideally both always wins out).

    Kathy, with you on Speed Networking and working out your introduction isn't that hard. You're not selling your product or service, that's what most people get wrong.

    Jules, completely with you. Business networking works for every business but not for every business person, just like any other form of marketing.

    Thanks again, I'm just flattered that people are reading it :-)