I ask people I meet a lot of questions and the one question I am finding I am asking more lately has to do with business people saying they do not see how being a member of a business/social networking group would be of value to them. Yes…the word value seems to be coming up frequently in conversations I am having with a significant number of business people. At least the term ‘Value’ is more understandable in this economy that the term ‘Brand’..but that is for another blog.
Naturally the one issue I talk about the most is golf and its values. With many of the golf facilities living in denial and not interested in adjusting profit margins to being close to reality, I can agree with many golfer’s evaluation of the personal or professional value of playing golf. Again, I will leave my evaluation of golf facilities operations costs for another blog.
As the economy worsens more and more people who play golf now are going to see the value of playing golf diminishing. That same pull back for lack of lack of understanding the value of something now reaches almost everything in business, including social media.
I have been taking the initiative to turn the tables a little and ask the question..
[pullquote]What would make being a member of a social networking group more valuable to you?[/pullquote]
The answers break down into these responses…
- Automatic access to real business
- Not having to compete with multitudes in the same industry
- Blocking predatory or scamming business people
- Ability to show products to target markets only
- Guaranteed business results
- The Group Pay them to be a member
- Exclusive Access to real jobs
- Make $$$ per hour for every person I talk to at the social gatherings
Yes, there are a lot of misguided people out in the marketplace who have previously been handed huge salaries and long term business on a silver platter. Many are living in denial that nothing has changed in business development and, yes, most are angry that what they spent ten’s of thousands of dollars on formal education to help in their profession was a total waste.
Unfortunately, these same people keep pushing to keep things like they were so they can feel ‘applicable’ in the market. The fact remains, that in order for them to embrace Social Media as being of value to them they need more proof it will work for them.
Business/Social Networking Has to Change
I can agree with some of the remarks people make about business networking groups and the social gatherings being mostly void of business development. I have been to plenty of these functions where it is clear from entering the room it is filled with mostly the IAAM (Its All About Me) people. It is sometimes incredible to image how IAAM can take their 30 second spill become a full hour and half presentation on why they are better at what they do than the person standing next to them. Where are these people learning their business networking skills..or lack of them?
I also find it nearly incomprehensible to how many of the people I talk to come to social or business networking events without a Business Card. Evening in a totally social environment, where there is no business expected from the gathering, having a personal business card to hand to someone is now nearly mandatory.
Absurdness That Need To Change
When I step into the online arena of business/social networking I find the absurdities of business people’s thinking to be…well, absurd. Some of the things that are allowed to go on in most of the online social networking groups, like uncontrolled spamming of members, lack of focus on who or what is a member of the group and general the random chaos of irrelevant status reports on a person’s bowel movements, validates why I am hearing the responses to the questions of value to social media.
Neither the offline nor online versions of social networking is producing the business these people I am talking to need or want. It is not that these people who are answering my question on social media’s value do not have anything to offer the market. Most I find are brilliant in what they do..that is once I get them to break from the formalities of ‘Being on Point’ of feeling they need to sell themselves every second of the day.
[pullquote]So, why has Business/Social Networking in the online and offline arenas become so unproductive or lacking of value to people wanting to make business connections?[/pullquote]
It seems the answer to the question people ask me about the value of joining my business/social networking club would be based on something novel to a lot of people…Trust. I would like to think that there are more people out in the La-La-Land of the internet that can be trusted or are interested in being trustworthy, but from my 33 yrs of experience out here in the business world it seems having lack of trust in the market is more profitable than being honest and trustworthy.
Social Networking is now the mainstream of social media and it is clear to me there is no turning back. What the value of social media is to someone is a good question and the answer lies with the people who set forth in organizing or developing social networking opportunities. Possible solutions could be to develop more focus towards developing a purpose for socializing or maybe even tagging the events as strictly social or Business Cards Required events.
To answer the questions on the value of the Business Golf Country Club and what the value of joining the club is to someone is clear. The old saying of ‘The proof is in the pudding’ is clear with the BGCC and its newly launched chapter clubs. Trustworthiness is the biggest value of a business and is the focus of the BGCC. The value of being a member of ‘The Club’ is multifaceted.
- If your focus and interest is in just playing golf, the BGCC has the ONLY golf community certified as having ALL Golfers. Who certifies it? I do and you can trust me on that since I interview each member. You should be able to find a number of people to play golf with.
- If your interest is in meeting more people and networking, the BGCC is full of business owners, executives, golf professionals and golfers who know people.
- If you need an ROI from your time spent, the Chapter Clubs will be featuring one-on-one networking to get face time with people and a learning experience included with each gathering. You will learn something new about the business world around you which is adds absolute values to you, your golf game and your business.
But enough of the commercial. The fact is clear, more has to be done to change the landscape of the current state of social and business networking. Social Networking over a cocktail is an outstanding way of getting to know someone. But when coming for the cocktail is more important than the socializing, then is that really Social networking?
More value has to be added to online and offline social networking. Clear communication of what the social networking is for and not for needs to be part of every tagline of every social networking event.
If you need more explanation of what is needed and not needed in Social Networking and Social Media…well you know where to find me and what tee box I will be on. Let me know how I can help.