Measuring Value for a Networking Group
How do you measure a group's worth to your organization?
It is sometimes necessary to measure the value of a group. You may be asking yourself why you would want to measure the value of a group whose purpose is business. You would want to measure the price of membership vs. the business you will get out of the group through either referrals or direct business with members. There are several ways that the measurement can be taken. First, you will need to assess the current membership. You should develop a scale of 1 to 10 and give each member a rating based on a set of predefined criteria. What criteria should you use? That will depend entirely on your goals for belonging to the group. For example, if you are selling services for repairing computers, you may rate members by the number of computers they have at the workplace, and you may also add a factor for who they are currently using on the servicing side. It is best to define at least 3 criteria for a sampling of the members. You will not want to measure every member, but a small cross-section will do. Second, you should measure the amount of business each member (or a sample of members) has received by joining the group. You may also want to know how much business they do with other group members as well.
Once you have the measurements, these same criteria should be applied to each of the groups you are interested in. Next you will want to do a comparison of the groups and then make your selection based on facts rather than emotion.
Now that you have thought out and used a measurement tool for deciding the value of a group, you will want to test as many groups as possible. You may decide to join only those groups that measure in the top 20% of your scale. One thing you may want to consider is the time and place of the meeting. Your calendar must be open and flexible enough to deal with attendance requirements.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com
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