We all love to get leads and connections as a result of our networking endeavors. After all, we’re spending countless hours and often a fair amount of money to do this networking thing; the very least that we “expect” is some RESULTS.
But sometimes those leads and connections are just not forthcoming and you’re sad, real sad, and feeling like the networking is simply a waste of your time.
But wait, don’t be too hasty because there’s more to meet the networking eye and there’s value that can be received even if the leads aren’t forthcoming. (Why they’re not forthcoming is a topic for another blog, but I digress.)
What else can you ask for, and probably receive, from your networking contacts? How about:
- Introductions to groups / associations that bring in speakers (Even better, an introduction to the person responsible for bringing in speakers.)
- Opportunities to guest blog
- Barter opportunities whereby you can help each other with services / products
- Connections to resources to whom you / your clients can turn to for help with business matters
- Introductions to potential referral sources
- Invitations to events
Now certainly a direct introduction to someone “looking” for your specific product or service is the holy grail BUT how often does that exact situation arise, especially if you are in a niche category or your service is very consultative. But the other situations, well, they are available to all of us networkers on a much more frequent basis.
So before you count someone out as being a networking “deadbeat” because they don’t seem to be able to reciprocate with leads, consider asking them about some of these other “value-adds.” You just might find out that they can easily execute on some of these other things and these can be beneficial as well.
And if they don’t reciprocate in any way, shape or form, well, then you’re dealing with a networker that’s only in it for themselves. Shake them loose before you waste much more time.