In my last three blogs, I spoke about different types of networking, specifically, networking in a group you are not familiar with, networking to bring back lost customers and treating networking like I job. Now I want to speak more on LeTip style networking.
In 2012, when I first had Wired built for our members, I had high hopes for what we could do, and there were many successes over the years. When I think about what we are able to do today and what our plans are for the next couple years, I really get excited. Wired is changing from being a member centric tool to being a networking centric tool. There are still steps to take in this process and many of them rely on our members participating a fully as possible.
Then I start thinking about the LeTip Chapter Meeting and how it has been successfully used by tens of thousands of members over 43 years to grow their businesses. Our chapter meetings are successful because they are a business meeting and not a social gathering.
“But didn’t everything change with Covd-19? We are meeting virtually, or we have hybrid meetings. Shouldn’t we change what we are doing to change with the times?”
The simple answer is no. Our chapters that are having the most success continuing to Tip and continuing to grow their membership tell me one thing over and over when I ask: “How have you been successful this year?” They simply say, we run our meetings the same. Even though we are virtual, we continue to run our meetings and hold our members accountable. The LeTip way has worked for years for our members, so we keep doing it. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to improve the overall chapter meeting across the country, and I hope my messages here will lead to some of those improvements.
Today I want to bring you up to speed on how I envision LeTip Wired being used in your Chapter to increase the benefits of your networking. Then I will remind you of how to get the optimal networking out of your chapter meetings.
Let us start with a definition of networking.
Business networking is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other businesspeople and potential clients or customers.
Establishing mutually beneficial relationships. That is the shortest definition of what LeTip is that I have ever written. But I must expand on it to prove the benefits of LeTip Wired and the chapter meeting.
“Establishing mutually beneficial relationships.” How do new members see this process? Many of you invite a colleague to one of your meetings. They shows up, converse with you during the networking time, sit by you during the meeting, and then leave and think “Wow, Joe sure is a swell guy, but I don’t get why he would want me to join.” Here is a summary of why so many guests end up in this situation.
First, no one else in the chapter reached out to them before the meeting. There was no “confirmation of reservation”. Think about the difference in the welcoming feeling if prior to the meeting, the guest received a email from one of the members (who would probably be a power partner) saying they couldn’t wait to meet them and start the conversation about doing business together. Next, they receive a phone call from a different member who asks if they have any questions before they arrive and assures them that they will be there to welcome them and introduce them to everyone.
Wow, these are strangers who have taken the time to talk to me even before I got there. What the heck is up with this group.
LeTip Wired Note: One way to make sure that confirmation of reservation is happening smoothly is to use the Guest Invitation process in LeTip Wired, where the inviter can send an email or text message to the two people in the chapter they want doing confirmation of reservation.
Now they arrive at the chapter meeting and the Official Greeter welcomes them and matches them to someone who will walk them around the networking and showboating time. How did the chapter know who to match them with; the Guest was sent a link to www.crackmycode.com/letip and the guest was coded as NBAK (the guest is a nurturer who likes to have a plan to get things done). You knew at that point that Shirley should be the person to introduce them, as Shirley’s code is NKBA and her nurturing nature will help the guest feel comfortable in their shoes.
LeTip Wired Note: Make sure you have scheduled your Showboater/Greeter/Speaker in LeTip Wired so that everyone can see who is on the schedule and know going in. Mentioning these people by name as you speak with guests or even each other builds that feeling of community.
When it is time for the President to introduce the guests at the meeting, they should make sure to explain to the guests that there will be two opportunities to speak in front of the group for them. Explain why the first one is about themselves and not their business. Explain that becoming a member is more than becoming a resource for each other, its about becoming part of the close network or family. It begins the building of relationships.
LeTip Wired Note: If the Vice President and Membership Chair knew all of the guests who were on the invitee list in LeTip Wired, it will be easy to have that list ready for the President along with the Guest Category and Business Name. This will make the guest doubly impressed that even the leaders in the group know who they are. Without having this info in LeTip Wired, the VP and Membership Chair are rushing around during the networking time trying to gather this info, and not spending the time truly building their relationships.
At the end of the first guest meeting, the Membership Chair or the President should be talking to the guest and asking them the tough question… “So what did you see that would give you a reason not to join?”
LeTip Wired Note: This can lead into sending them an application on the spot from your Mobile App and even walking them through the application on their phone or a tablet. Once the application is submitted, it is forwarded to your Chapter Inspector and they can start the task of scheduling an inspection.
The next stage will be voting.
LeTip Wired Note: While voting is not built into your mobile app yet, we anticipate that we will add voting functionality within the next couple months. Your Chapter board will have access to the results immediately and can schedule follow-up calls with anyone voting no. Reasons for voting no will not be included in the Mobile App as those should be kept confidential between the member and the board. If approved, the Application approval is just a button click away on LeTipWired.com and will soon be in the mobile app also. Most badges are processed within 24-48 hours and sent to the President of the chapter so they arrive prior to the next week meeting where they can be presented to the Chapter as the new member is introduced. This quick turnaround helps the new member feel welcomed immediately and reminds them of the importance of badge colors – especially going Green with that first sponsorship.
LeTip Wired Note: The importance of the member getting their profile up and completed and scheduling their NTS training through LeTip Wired should be noted to them by either the chapter mentor, or during the lunch bunch. Profiles need to be fully completed to include a picture, business description, and now even a Video. The video can be professionally produced, or a simple introduction from their cell phone. The importance is that it is a way for members to introduce you to their clients as they are passing a Tip to you. If you call someone after one of your fellow members has passed a Tip, there is a good chance you will get the business. If that person has seen you in a video, they are going to feel like they know you and your chance of closing the business will increase.
Now the new member is starting to see what LeTip is about. They have been to 2 meetings as a guest and now 2-4 more as a new member. Hopefully, they are starting to ask question about the Weekly Speaker Rotation and the Quarterly Meeting Rotation.
LeTip Wired Note: You can show they in LeTip Wired where they can see the upcoming weeks of Speakers and you can talk to them about how they get scheduled on that rotation – your chapter should have set rules as to when and how new members get added onto the weekly speaker rotation.
The quarterly meeting rotation is also important to explain to them. If we had the same meeting every week for 52 weeks a year, it would get stale. That is why we change things up throughout each quarter to include Membership and Tipping Roundtables, a Business Mixer, and even what key information the board talks about during sections of the meeting from Birthdays for the month to NTS training. The Secretary talking about what is happening nationally through the Communicare newsletter also helps the new members feel connected not only to the chapter, but to the national organization. LeTip members have never found this to be more important than during the last 8 months. LeTip East Coast Lunch Bunches, Virtual Happy Hours, National Leadership calls have all offered opportunities for business to be done more and more across state boarders. We have even had LeTip members hired by other LeTip members when their businesses were struggling due to Covid-19.
All of this explanation and training during the initial 60 days is part of the networking that you do. As I’ve said in past blogs, sometimes it’s hard to strike up a conversation with a stranger or even a new member. If you use the outline in this Blog, you can almost always find something LeTip to start that conversation with. Then you build on your networking relationship by the conversation naturally flowing to how it has helped you be successful and that leads you to explaining your business, which is one of the things you always want to be doing during networking to make sure your sales force is trained.
Finally, we saw the first benefit of the B.A.N.K. codes when we were recruiting members, but the even larger benefit comes to every member when they start changing up their commercials to get members to understand their business. While B.A.N.K. has had a limited introduction to LeTip over this year, I am about to launch it even deeper into our structure. Right now, you can find out the B.A.N.K. codes of your fellow members on LeTip Wired or on the LeTip Wired Mobile App. Within weeks, I will also be sending you the book “Why They Buy”, by the B.A.N.K. founder Cheri Tree. This book will give you even more insight into how to use the B.A.N.K. codes to increase your sales. The best part is, it’s all included in the cost of your membership.
I know this has been a long blog, but I hope that you see the importance of networking in all aspects of your business and in all aspects of your LeTip relationships. We are a family, but we are a family that first and foremost helps each other grow their individual businesses.
I would encourage you to print off (or share electronically) these 4 blogs from the last 2 months and share them with the people in your business and re-read them yourself.
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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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