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Networking Tips

Category Limited Group Recruiting

Belonging to a category limited networking group brings with it the responsibility to constantly recruit new members to the group. 

How often have you heard yourself say: “I don’t know anyone to invite”?  (Most often said in a whiney voice.)  The corollary whine is “I have already invited everyone I know twice.  No one will ever come!”

The category limited group should not be the only networking any of us are doing.  That means at least once a month we find ourselves at a chamber event or an association event or at a “meet up” of some kind.  When you meet someone new at an event and they represent a vacant category, for goodness sake INVITE THEM TO A MEETING!

Rather than repeat that, let’s consider attitude.  Why are you a member?  I hope your answer is because I get a great return on my investment of time and money.  When you recruit a potential member you are offering him the opportunity to make an investment that will pay huge dividends in profits.  You are doing him a favor by issuing the invitation, you are not begging for a favor.

See if a new attitude will make you more successful in recruiting new members for your team.

60-Seconds to Sell, Baby

If you regularly attend a networking leads or referral group, you are familiar with standing up and selling your product or service for 30 or 60 seconds, right? If you answered yes, of course, you are missing the purpose of the 60-second presentation completely.

The folks who attend the group with you don’t need to be sold on you or your products. If they have a need and you have done your job of getting them to know you, like you and trust you, they are going to seek you out and buy from you. You don’t need to sell them every week.

Don’t forget that each person in the room knows about 250 people well enough to refer you to them. Often they just don’t know where to look or how to listen for the clues that tell them to refer you. The 60-second presentation is to train them, not sell them.

We suggest you start with your name, company name and product or service. Follow that with “A good referral for me this week would be …” Starting that way eliminates our natural tendency to jump up and sell. The words that follow should be as specific as possible.

Once I asked for any contact you have in a private or charter school. Turned out a member’s wife taught at a local charter school. He referred me to her, she introduced me to the fund development manager at the school and we got two opportunities to provide products. I had been mailing and cold calling that very school for over a year with no results.

Tell us to whom you want to be referred. Tell us how to recognize a good prospect for you. We will try to do the rest.