Author: Mark Orr
One of the most important things business owners and professionals love about Business Networking in Milton Keynes is that it is a trusted environment. People feel safe with other people they meet at business networking events.
Sadly, that is also one of the reasons dishonest, fraudulent scammers and con merchants love business networking. From their perspective they see it as a target audience full of gullible people ripe for the picking!
Really sadly, this situation can be even worse in Women Only networks. Some years ago I asked a lady who ran a Women Only Business Network why some women preferred to network in that way. Her response was that they feel safer and more comfortable without alpha males in the room. I have asked a similar question many times since and I get the same answer.
The problem is that, just like men, not all women are the same. Some women can be just as domineering as some men. For me this is a very dangerous dynamic. Most of the women in the room being there for safety and comfort and a few alpha females very keen and happy to exploit them!
Luckily it is relatively easy to protect yourself. If somebody tells you something at a networking meeting always ask them some interesting and inquiring questions about what they've said. If they are a genuine decent person they will be really pleased that you are so interested and they will answer you in a straightforward way. Conversely, if it's a load of B.S. they will probably be vague.
Let me give you a hypothetical example. If somebody says to you "I've been involved in the creation and management of several successful businesses" your simple response could be "That's great, I'm really impressed. Perhaps you could give me the names of some of them just in case I may have heard about them already. If I haven't I would love to check them out and find out more"
In this hypothetical example, if they can't give you any names then I would humbly suggest that the original statement may be untrue. After all, if you had that success story you would want to shout the names from the rafters so people could check out for themselves how successful you had been. That is what a proud, honest and decent person would do!
I came across a different trust issue recently. The Business Growth Club has virtually no rules and is deliberately open to everybody with no silly old fashioned "lock outs" or exclusivity, everyone is very welcome.
Conversely, many of you will know of other Business Networking Groups in Milton Keynes that do run a "lock out" policy with exclusivity. So they will only allow one member from a particular trade, industry or profession.
There are very good and understandable reasons for that exclusivity. They stand up at the end of each meeting and publicly announce the referrals they have for other members of the group and pass a piece of paper to prove it. Obviously, if there were say 2 accountants in the room it would be an embarrassment if one received a referral and the other one didn't which is why they don't allow more than 1 member in any trade, profession or industry.
In one of these well know groups there is a very strict written rule that any member of that group must not also be a member of another "lock out" exclusive referral based group. New members of that group stand up in front of everybody and pledge that they will not break these rules.
Unfortunately, in Milton Keynes, several members of this group are also members of other "lock out" exclusive referral based groups. From my perspective, that is dishonest and I could have issues trusting anybody who felt that breaking this fundamental rule which they have pledged to uphold is OK. My thoughts would be "what other rules are the breaking? What else are they not being honest about?"
I am sure you have guessed that there is a very good reason for the rule. If you are also a member of another "lock out" exclusive referral based group your referrals will be diluted between members of both groups. So, If I was a member of one of the other groups I would suggest that they would be better off refusing these members. What do you think?
Lastly, what other types of trust issues have you encountered whilst Business Networking in Milton Keynes? The more we share the more we protect ourselves!