When you join a networking group your first thought is “I’m going to get lots of leads from this group when they realize how great my company is.” This will be true under certain circumstances. Here are 3 ways to make sure that those circumstances come to fruition.
First, people will start recommending you when they remember you. Long term memory studies say that it can take seven repetitions to make us remember almost anything. We don’t want to go 2 months in our networking groups before people start remembering us, so we need a hook early on. We suggest that you that you use the networking time prior to the meetings and your 30-second commercials during the meeting to WOW your fellow members. How? The first thing to realize is that people will remember your purpose much faster than they will remember your job category or company name. Tell people your story. They want to know you, not your company name. Your fellow members have all the tools they need in their mobile app or online to get in touch with you even if they cannot remember you name. They need to remember your purpose so that when one of their contacts is telling them about how their day is going, they can remember to bring up how you can help fix their issues.
HINT: Attend a Network Training Seminar to get clues how to find your hook. Not all of us are natural sales-people, but we all can be trained on how to become better than we are now.
Second, people will start recommending you when they see that you are fully participating in the group. We have always referred to this with the phrase “Give, Get, Grow…Repeat!”. It’s a harsh fact, that some people join networking groups and after they have grabbed 4-5 great leads, they split. They never intended to be part of the long-term solution for their peers. If you want to get more leads, then you need to show you commitment. “Give” is the first word. Give leads, give of your time (meetings, visitations, committee participation) and give of your expertise.
HINT: Think about what you like to do and volunteer for a committee position that fits that role. Social Media, Business Mixer Committee, Tipping Roundtable, …
Finally, find ways to interact with members outside of the weekly meetings. You are building a sales team for your company. If you were hiring this team, would you only train them one hour per week, or would you devote more time to building their value to your company. Have 1:1 meetings with the members in your chapter who are most likely to be able to give you leads naturally from their business (we call these Power Partners). Connect with your chapter members on social media and comment or like their posts. This does two things; it lets them know you are thinking of them, and it introduces your social networks to their business. Reach out to members in other chapters, especially those who have been around a long time and are in your category. They will be a wealth of information to you, not your competition.