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Thursday, February 11, 2010


Mastering the Membership Maze
with Glen Gould

Each month I meet hundreds of business owners who have joined chambers of commerce, business organizations, associations, and networking groups. Each month I hear the same question from most of these individuals. Some ask more boldly than others, but virtually all new members ask the same question. "Do you have my money?"

Obviously they don't come right out and ask that question, but all the comments they make and the few questions they ask are designed to find out who has their money.

Joining a new organization is the pinnacle of excitement about the potential return on investment of the three "T's" we are investing. We will invest time, talent, and treasure in this new organization and we expect a healthy return on our investment. We invest our treasure (in the form of membership dues) and we invest our time (in the form of time attending events). Savvy networkers will offer to invest their talent volunteering. These investments are made with the assurance in our minds that someone has our money and we must find it. The more involved we become the more likely we will find our money. Herein lies the source of most failures in networking.

Networking is best used to build relationships with people who will see you as a trusted resource. Trust comes only with time and experience. The ultimate goal you should have for attending networking events is to find three to five prospective networking partners with whom you will build a lasting relationship. To do that you will have to turn off your "me" switch and begin focusing on the other person.

Everyone knows that you are there to sell your stuff. Everyone else is as well. But the people in any group who excel rarely talk about their products or services at networking events. These individuals answer questions when asked but spend most of their time asking questions of others. Their sincere desire is to get to know others. Why? Because they only do business with people they know, like, and trust and they are trying to find out if the person they have just met is someone they would like to get to know better.

The next time you attend a networking event, go with the plan to meet three new people. But don't just meet them, spend a few extra minutes with them to find out what they are looking for. Turn off your "me" switch and tune into their needs. Then go to work.

Over the next twenty-four hours, try to find a match from your network for the needs of the new people you met. Then invite each one for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. There you will spend more time learning about them and their needs and you will bring a referral from your network. Rest assured, you will be remembered, appreciated, and you will become a trusted resource for them as well.

Glen Gould

Inspiring Positive Change
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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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