This is an area that I cannot put enough emphasis on. Networking is Sales and Sales is Business. If you are going to be in business and think you don’t need to network, you are probably not going to make it.
In some ways, I hope I’m preaching to the choir. You have all joined LeTip, which means you know the importance and possibility of networking, but I also know that some of you won’t make it to your 2nd or 3rd year in LeTip, let alone the 10th, 20th or 40th as some of our members have. What is the difference most of the time? Knowing that networking is a job; part of your job; and the part that will make the biggest difference in the growth of your company over the long run.
I’m going to break down the job description into three phases: First, becoming a LeTip Member; second, being a great LeTip member, and third using the skills you learn in LeTip outside of the chapter.
First, when you become a LeTip member, you are signing an agreement to work for the other members of your Chapter. Seriously, look at the contract you sign when you become a member.
- 1. I agree to attend a Network Training Seminar within 60 days. Why, because everyone need training on how to do their job.
- 2. I will attend regularly and not miss chapter meetings and business mixers. Why, because when you don’t show up to your job, you usually aren’t there very long.
- 3. I will support each member and pass a minimum of 4 tips per month. This is the “Give” in our motto. You have to learn to “Give” before you get. But know, when members give, the chapter should always be there to make sure you are supported in your business needs.
While there are 20 items you sign up for on the contract, these 3 exemplify what the job is all about.
You should also go back and read your Welcome Letter from LeTip, which gives the best steps for beginning your Membership. You can also find a copy on LeTip Wired in the Documents Library.
Second, what are the tips to being a Great Member. Katie Burke has some great ideas for 10 Ways to Make Meaning Connections. You can read her blog here. This may help you understand when I talk about how important it is to build meaningful connections and how LeTip is built to do just that.
Let’s start with the Chapter meeting. We always start with 15 minutes of open networking. This helps train you for those outside networking opportunities where you don’t know everyone. Don’t just talk about the local sports team during this time, use this as practice time and as relationship building time.
Next we enter the meeting and you have a chance to do your 30 second commercial. This is key time. Each week should be different. Try out new ways of pitching your business in this 30-seconds. You will end up finding 5-10 ways that you are the most comfortable with and you can use these everywhere you go.
The next step is the Lunch Bunch for new members. This is the short version of the Network Training Seminar. Your best members, the mentors in the group should be the ones hosting the Lunch Bunch. Let’s get those new members started off right on their job skills.
Our four-week program of Showboater, Greeter, Speaker and Lucky Devil is designed to help you learn networking skills and make meaningful connections.
First you Showboat, this gets your busines front and center during the networking phase of the meeting. You handle multiple people asking questions and learn to keep the answers focused on what sells your business and what builds relationships.
The next week you are the official greeter. This part of your LeTip Job is to make sure everyone is welcome and being introduced to the Showboater. You should also have done your homework to see if the guests have filled out their B.A.N.K code so that you know which members will be able to speak to them in the language that they buy in so that your chapter can close on more than 1 out of 4 guests. Think about this as a job and you are doing the work of your company because you are growing your sales force. Chapters with 16 members are self sustaining; Chapters with 22 members share around $300,000 in business; Chapters with 30+ members share over $1,000,000 in business. You want your chapter to be at 40, 50 or more. That is the sweet spot where all the businesses are growing and sharing in great Outside business Tips.
Next is your big focus week; Speaker. Prepare, prepare, prepare, but don’t stress. These are your peers and your friends you are speaking to. You know your business better than anyone of them. They are listening because you are an expert. They wouldn’t have let you join if they didn’t believe that. As speaker, you need to train your sales force. Your sales force is sitting there waiting for the tidbits of how to sell your business.
Finally, the Lucky Devil. You are lucky because not you get to hear someone’s pitch about your business. They have met you at the Showboat table, had you welcome them to the meeting and listened to your Speaker position last week. Now they give a 30 second commercial about you. This is how they are going to pitch you to everyone they meet. Listen, and educate more if necessary.
While its not the last piece of networking skill, the Visitation is important. You are there to learn in depth about your fellow member’s business. Take this seriously. The more you build the businesses in your chapter through outside tipping, the more you will receive back in outside tipping.
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Kim Marie Branch-PettidKim Marie is one of the leading women business owners in charge of an organization which includes more than 5200 members worldwide, now entering their 40th Anniversary Celebration. Her motivational speeches have been heard all across North America. With 28 years in the banking industry in all forms, including mergers and acquisitions, she has been and continues to be involved in fund raising for non-profit organizations, as well as a member of California Women for Agriculture, Sequoia Guild, member of Vistage Trusted Advisor Group and WPO-Women Presidents Organization, Phoenix, AZ. Also, she is a past board member of ASBA (Arizona Small Business Association). Her specialties include trainer, motivator, connector with years of experience in bringing businesses together for a ‘great fit’.
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