Column: You have to have chemistry with the networking group, too
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We've all run into this situation. We meet someone. On paper we have everything in common. We should hit it off right away. For some reason, though, we just don't click. The chemistry isn't there. Our personalities clash for some reason and sometimes you don't even know exactly why.
OK, sometimes the guy is just a jerk, but you get the idea.
The same thing can be true of the networking events we attend.
We carefully select the event. The people who go there are either our target market or serve our target market. The location is near our office. The timing is a perfect fit for our schedule. It even has the style of networking we prefer.
And for some reason it just doesn't work.
Sometimes it's just a matter of time. We think it's not working, but we actually haven't put in enough time to allow people to get to know us. Sometimes we're not really participating. It's our effort we need to improve. Sometimes, though, it's just the "personality" of the event. For whatever reason, maybe something we can't even put a finger on, we just never feel like we fit in.
When that happens, we should probably look for a new event to attend. If we aren't making the connection to the folks at this event, no matter how hard we've tried (and we have to be honest about how hard we're trying), then the event isn't doing anything to help us extend our network. If it isn't doing that, then we are wasting our time and money — both better spent at a different venue.
If you've been attending a particular networking gathering for a while, and you aren't achieving the goals you set for the event, maybe it's not you. Maybe it's not the event either. Maybe there's just no chemistry.