It is often said that networking is expensive. Then again any marketing activity is if it generated no return on investment. So it is important to make sure that you measure the cost of any and every marketing channel to establish the effectiveness (or not) of what you try.
Networking costs can add up if you are regularly attending various meetings plus the additional cost of membership if that applies to a particular organisation.
But how much do you spend elsewhere? Maybe it is said that networking is more costly than other activity because you are more conscious of the outgoings on a regular basis as you attend meetings.
Have you stopped to consider what you spent on your website? Or Yellow Pages and advertising elsewhere in the press and various media. Not to mention leafleting costs. Chances are that this all starts to add up and, I would second guess, that most of these don’t generate leads for you – or if they do, you don’t know that this is the case because you are not monitoring where your leads come from, You’re just glad to get them!
So, before you dismiss networking as a marketing channel that you can’t afford, just bear in mind that word of mouth referrals are the most powerful form of lead that you can get for your business. Admittedly you need to work at networking because it takes time for people to get to know you, like you, trust you and develop a relationship with you – but once they have, this may lead to many ongoing referrals rather than the one off leads that tend to come from other marketing that you may do.