Is it time to quit your networking group?
I mean, sure, people complain all the time that they’re not getting any leads.
And at least one of my clients had a lot more patience than I ever would.
She had been part of a networking group for three years, and had gotten zero leads.
I mean, who has three years to wait for results from business networking… I know I didn’t. I still don’t.
Now, when I first joined a networking group I did find it very frustrating.
I dutifully showed up for every meeting.
I tried every Elevator Pitch I could think of.
And then I went back to sit in my office and wait for my phone to ring.
That’s how it works, right?
Here are three things you can do at your next networking group meeting that will generate leads.
1. Share a Client Success
If you want leads, you need to talk in a way that makes it clear what kind of leads you’re looking for.
And unless you have this kind of Elevator Pitch, the easiest way to do that is to talk about a recent client success.
Think about it right now. Who’s a recent client that you’ve happily worked with?
See, when you share a recent client success, you relax, your face brightens, you smile, and you passionately share a compelling example of your best work.
So the next time you’re going around the table and have a chance to “introduce yourself,” start with:
“I’d like to share a recent client success. I was working with a client who…”
Then just share a quick story about how the client found you, why they were looking for you, and what work you’re doing for them.
Your client success story instantly defines your niche and your perfect referral in a way that’s easy for everyone to understand.
So, what’s your recent client success?
2. Set Up 1-to-1’s
Attending your group meetings is not enough.
You can’t get to know people by hanging out with them in a group for 60 minutes every other week.
Don’t get me wrong. You do have to attend the meetings. And you also have to meet with people individually.
So choose three people and invite them to coffee.
Here’s the email script I use:
“It was great seeing you at the meeting yesterday.
I wanted to continue our conversation about how we can help each other grow our businesses.
Do you have time to sit down for coffee either next Tuesday afternoon or Thursday morning? Let me know what works in your schedule.”
I’ll share in a future email some good questions to ask during a 1-to-1.
Or you can learn the full system in the Trusted Advisor Community.
And, if you lead a networking group, here’s the best way to actually inspire your group members to set up 1-to-1’s.
3. Make Referrals
It doesn’t need to be directly for their business.
You can recommend an upcoming networking event, a good speaker for the group, a piece of software you use in your business.
Here’s another thing: When you’re talking to a person who could be a referral for the financial planner, divorce lawyer, real estate agent, graphic designer…, even if that person is happy with their current service provider, call the member of your group, describe the person you know, say they aren’t looking right now, but would that be the right kind of referral. You’ll be amazed the kind of conversation that opens up. You may learn something new that leads to an even better referral for them. And by talking to them you may jog their memory of someone who’d be a great introduction for you.
If you can’t think of any referrals, there are plenty of training materials here to help you develop this skill. Spotting opportunities is a skill. It can be learned. And giving people referrals is the single best way to attract referrals back to you. Just be warned, the referrals that come back to you most likely will not come from the person you referred to…
So at your next networking group meeting, share a client success, set up 1-to-1’s, and be on the lookout for people you can refer to the members of your group.
Post a comment below to let us know how it goes!