We were told, “One thing you have to do is just join a big enough business networking group, your cold calling days are over, and you will make a lot of money.”
“That’s ALL I have to do is join? This one thing? I can do that. Here’s my credit card number.” This is the reason we only take two-months in payments at a time, I don’t want the delusional people hanging on with a bad attitude because they paid a year in advance.
You attend the first meeting, people standup and tell everyone about all of their successes, and you even hear stories from people who were too busy to make the meeting, they just phoned in the success stories. You think, “Man, it doesn’t get better than this, you can just lay around in bed and business shows up!”
It all sounds awesome, but what you are not hearing about are the weeks, months, and years it took to start “earning” the business. I think it is one of the reasons why some people start and then, shortly after, leave. They believed the hype that it was, easy. Let me say again, there is a reason they call it, net-WORKING. Like anything else in business, you must apply effort to make it work. There is no automatic business development system.
That is not to say a proper business development organization can’t make your life a lot simpler, we are proof of that, but there are a few parts you have to employ to make the system work. Any sustainable system for growing your business involves different pieces working together to be successful.
I try to be upfront with people and make it clear that each step moves them closer to making their business development through the Sunrise Networking Group easier, and you will be rewarded according to your effort…just like anything else you do. You can’t rely on just ONE part to make the system work; here are some of the moving parts in business development:
Meetings – be consistent.
We have members who start off consistent, then when they start getting a lot of referrals, they forget they need to support the group, and make a choice not to attend, or make an occasional appearance. Believe me, people notice, because we hear all the snide comments when they are not in attendance. Business development meetings should be more important than the lone meeting you have set up somewhere else. You are missing out on training your group to find you the leads you are mining for, and they can feel your lack of interest in helping them become successful. Plus, there is that “out of sight, out of mind” theory.
Getting to the meetings early allows you the opportunity to greet everyone as they show up, and it shows a sincerity on your part to be a valuable member. “How are you doing,” and “Nice to see you,” goes a long way in showing your appreciation for the other members.
Don’t race out of the meeting, schedule thirty minutes to pluck some good parting conversations. How about mentioning something they had contributed during the meeting. What about asking business questions like, “What marketing are you finding most successful now, do you have any ideas I can take with me today?” Find out where they are generating most of their referrals from and see if it is an idea you can incorporate into your business plan, or they would like to partner up?
Sometimes there are guests that attend the meetings that can’t see the value but may be a good strategic partner for you. If you miss the meeting, you miss the opportunity to meet them.
Ask for one-on-ones.
Once you start on a one-on-one, with that individual, set up a follow up plan to make it a three-on- three, two people you bring from you list, and they bring two people from their list. Why not build consistency by planning on a weekly meeting with you bringing two new people, along with, two new people from them? Without a follow up plan, which most people ignore, each one-on-one is a dead-end, isn’t it?
Attend events – it does not have to be all but try…some.
In addition to the local group meetings, I strongly encourage taking advantage of the many opportunities provided to network with, and truly get to know the members of all of the other groups. The access to the broader SNG organization provides powerful networking opportunities.
Invite guests to events
One of the special features of being a SNG member is your ability to invite people to share an experience with you, creating the special moments that help us get to know each other better, and to build the bridge to trust.
Copyright Wayne A. Curto 2020