What is PSNG and why do we exist?
Professional Social Networking Group (PSNG) is an organization that works for the purpose of helping people build business and personal relationships through recurring Networking Events.
Although PSNG works to help businesses, there are no membership fees and no charges for attending events. They happen only because of the investment of time, energy and resources of individuals and business who want to contribute their efforts to help make great events and sustain our group.
Although PSNG works to promote charity groups, it is not a charity itself. PSNG allows charity organizations to have display tables at its events.
Jeff Tockman founded the group in May, 2009. He moved to Florida in April, 2009 without knowing anyone in the area and was looking for a way to build new business and personal relationships. He also wanted to help the business community, help people and promote charitable causes. Even in the age of Facebook, there was still a huge need to meet people face-to-face. His background in sales management and sales training convinced him that large recurring events that continuously attracted new people would be good for the economy and the community. Jeff liked going to networking events once every couple of weeks on Thursday nights right after work, paying no cover charge and having the venue provide one complimentary drink to entice him to come. Instead of continuing to look for the ideal group and events, he created his own.
PSNG will continue to work towards its vision of becoming the most sought-after networking group in South Florida. We chose a difficult path with two unique challenges on purpose. First, we chose to have a lack of revenue from the events. Second, we chose to combine professional networking and social networking in one event.
Building a group with no revenue from events is an obvious and difficult challenge. Combining social and professional networking in one event is also challenging. Since this is unique, most people come to their first event with expectations formed from other events that are either professional or social. The difference between expectations and the perceived reality when someone attends our events can create some discomfort, frustration, confusion and concern. Those feelings can turn someone away from our event and create negative impact. We understand and acknowledge that someone who comes to an event expecting a normal professional networking event can have these feelings when they encounter people working on their social goals. The opposite is true as well. Someone can be frustrated if they come to our event expecting a social networking event and instead find some people working on their professional goals.
People who see the words “Social Networking” and think that only means singles or dating are really missing the point. They may end up treating people in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. They may make inappropriate comments, sexual references and/or treat our events like a nightclub or singles event where they think it is OK to “hit on” people they find attractive. They may drink excessively or dress inappropriately which creates a negative impression for the other attendees. People who see the words “Professional Networking” may also miss the point. They may also make people uncomfortable by launching into their sales pitch. They may pressure people to buy their product or service. If you ever see someone making someone else uncomfortable at one of our events, please let Jeff Tockman or one of our Directors know.
The challenge has its rewards. Each person and business wants and gets different benefits based on their intent, actions, thoughts, focus, follow through and more. Generally said, the best networkers get the most benefit. People who understand and embrace PSNG can work to create a unique environment for networking.
Because we hold events which have no revenue, it is easier to recruit people to contribute. This allows everyone to focus more on pure networking.
Some of the best networkers find a way to mix professional and social networking together. On the social side of networking the best networkers will realize that “Social” is a broad category that includes charities, activities, friendship, sports, education and more. PSNG provides a venue for all kinds of social networking and focuses its energy on the charities it promotes.
The best networkers approach someone at an event and seek to understand and help first. They seek to understand what drives and motivates someone and who they are as a human being. They learn about that person’s goals. Finally, they try to understand how that person is working to achieve their goals. Once a networker understands who you are, what you are trying to accomplish and how you are doing it, then they can try to help. That help can come in a few forms. They can provide encouragement, direct help, a referral or provide some advice.
Perhaps, the networker can provide direct help towards the other person’s goals. For example, the networker may talk to a dentist who has a goal of acquiring more new patients. The networker might have a tooth ache and hire the dentist. More likely, the networker can provide a referral. Since each person knows about 200-250 people, the networker might know someone who is new to the area or just changed jobs and medical insurance providers. The networker can connect the dentist with that person. Most likely, the networker can provide some helpful advice, recommend a product or service, or offer some encouragement. The networker might direct the dentist to a website developer who specializes in building sites for dental practices or congratulate them on their goals and strategy.
Of course the networker can be rewarded by this discussion. They might get a fixed tooth, a happy friend and/or a thankful dentist. The dentist is much more likely after this exchange to ask the networker about their values, goals and action plan. The dentist is also much more likely hire the networker, provide a referral, or provide good advice or encouragement.
PSNG will continue its work to use networking productively. We hope you will contact PSNG to get more involved.
Jeff Tockman, JD, MBA
Professional Networking and Referral Consultant
Founder, Tockman Consulting
Founder, JD Networking
Founder, Professional Social Networking Group (PSNG)
Boca Raton, FL
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