When we posed the question to business professionals who attended our business networking events: what is your biggest complaint when it comes to networking? Surprisingly, many had the same answer: traditional business networking is DEAD. Many have attended hundreds of networking events over the years and at the conclusion of the meetings the overall thought was often: “well, that was a waste of time”. Since business professionals need to explore every option when it comes to accomplishing their business goals, they feel forced to keep going back to these same traditional business networking events and activities, yet always hoping for different results (isn’t that the definition of insanity?).
Well, I don’t think traditional business networking is dead. As a matter of fact, it is very much alive – as more and more professionals today are participating in some form of business networking. Although the majority of these folks claim to hate it, they have resigned themselves to the fact that networking is a necessary evil; something they have no choice to do – even if they despise it.
To the casual observer, doesn’t that mean that business networking is ripe for a disruptive shift? Some concept or method that is more effective? Some model that is more productive and valuable? It has already happened with other traditional services like auctions (eBay), dating (Tinder), transportation (Uber), hospitality (Airbnb), communication (Twitter), shopping (Amazon.com) and many more. Some other networking platforms haven taken notice and followed suit by greatly evolving and leading by innovation, such as social networking (Facebook) and professional networking (LinkedIn).
So, how can business networking evolve? Is there a disruptive innovation that can rock the traditional business networking world? Or 5 years from now, will professionals still be resigned to participating in business networking as it is today?
I believe the future of business networking can and will be shockingly different than the many cookie cutter models you see today. These current business networking models have proven to have too many inefficiencies, which has overwhelmingly resulted in wasted time and money spent on business networking efforts that show no ROI. Simply put, many of these models are broken. How can they be fixed?
At Tipclub, we too have participated in the “traditional business networking” model for 15 years. We are the first to admit that the current business networking methods in today’s world must follow suit in the evolution – they must improve, revolutionize, and help business professionals in ways they have never experienced before.
Traditional business networking is not dead, but it may be dying in the near future. I believe in a newer and more disruptive concept called “strategic networking“. It is a completely different kind of business networking. It is networking with a specific purpose – networking with a personalized plan.
Is your current business network strategic? If not, you should consider building a strategic network for your business today!