Over the years that I’ve been engaged in networking pursuits, I have often heard from some of my fellow networkers that, for them, “it just isn’t working.” If you’re one of these folks who seems to get a lackluster return on your networking investment, may I suggest the following?

1. Are you really “working” it? Networking is time consuming and can be exhausting. Unless you are really paying attention to the details and diving in with all your energy and passion, the results just might not be realized. Following up on all of your networking contacts and introductions requires you to use a contact management tool to ensure you are “staying on the grid” and, thereby, having more opportunities to get value and be valuable to your contacts and referral sources. Fall off the grid and there will be another networking resource to take your place.

2. Taking the time to meet with your fellow networkers individually gives you a chance to really understand their business, and they can get to know you as well. Group meetings are fine, but without the individual get-togethers not much can happen.

3. Are you in the “right” group? Not every group may be a good fit. Attend several meetings as a guest before making a decision to join. Speak to current members but ask if you can be connected to members who have left the group. Find out what works and what doesn’t to make an informed decision. And, remember, even if a group is inexpensive, it still requires you spend quite a bit of time. Ask yourself if it seems worth it.

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:

Adrian Miller has more than 20 years of experience in sales training. She is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training, which offers real-world solutions to real-world situations for clients. To find out more, go tohttp://www.adrianmiller.com or visit her blog at http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.