Most entrepreneurs are familiar with the concept of networking or leads groups. They are in cities all across North America and around the world.
These groups typically meet once per week for the purpose of exchanging leads among their members. Usually only one person per occupation is allowed to join the group so there is never any competition for referrals.
Lots of people join these groups, and most people prosper tremendously from them. If you’re serious about increasing your business, you’ll find no better team to help you than the dedicated members of your leads group.
— Most groups have a structured system in place that is designed specifically to maximize the number of leads exchanged every week. The more you work the system, the more that system will work for you.
— Members who understand that their leads group is NOT an extracurricular activity and treat is as seriously as they would any other business meeting tend to be far more successful in generating leads.
— Belonging to more than one leads group at a time can have a very negative effect on your ability to generate leads for yourself.
If your groups all restrict membership to one person per occupation and you have a lead for an accountant, for example, to which accountant in which group will you give your lead?
The members of each group will begin question your loyalty to their respective group members and your ability to generate leads for yourself in each group will be diluted by the number of groups to which you belong. You are far better off belonging to just one leads group and spreading your other networking activities out in different areas.
— Regular attendance is essential if you want to not only reinforce who you are and what you do, but also if you want to be seen as someone who cares about the other members’ presentations. Remember, you’re there to give as well as to get. When you show people you care about them, they, in turn, will care about you and your business growth.
— The most successful members are those who get together outside of the meetings and actually go to one another’s places of business.
A restaurant might be a nice place for a social meeting, but nothing beats a referral where you can actually give directions, describe the office, and where you have had the opportunity to meet managers, staff, etc. Meeting in an office also prompts people to dig into their databases for referrals. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.
— Serving on the group’s leadership team not only develops strong leadership skills, it showcases your talents as a businessperson. The work you do as a volunteer is indicative of the work you do professionally, so roll up your sleeves, dig in, and knock everyone’s socks off by doing an outstanding job.
— Generating leads from group members comes from forming relationships with them. This takes time. Use this time wisely to get to know the other members and understand how you can best serve them and their needs. It’s all about giving, and remember, what goes around, comes around.
— Becoming proactive in recruiting new members does wonders for your business growth. Don’t forget that while you’re extolling the merits of your leads group, you’re giving out your own business card. Also, every new member exposes each and every one in the group to scores of new opportunities.
If you gather that I think leads groups are a great way to garner new business, you’re right! 🙂 I would strongly encourage every solo professional, small business owner, and entrepreneur to seek out and join a group that best suits their needs.
Bottom Line: You reap what you sow and there’s no more fertile ground than a group whose success is based upon your success.
Leni Chauvin coaches ordinary people to build and market extraordinary businesses. The strategies in her Attract Clients Galore Marketing System(tm) help solo professionals get more (and better) clients without having to spend a fortune to do it. Subscribe to Leni’s newsletter for tips to help you grow your business, too.
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