When we look at referral groups we frequently find the most successful groups and members in groups tend to be those that put a real emphasis on inviting guests to meetings. Many groups will have 4-5-6 guests at every meeting because members understand the benefit, and have gotten into the habit of inviting guests.
There are 4 key reasons why it’s in YOUR interest to look to invite guests to meetings on a regular basis…
1. Your meetings are part of your weekly networking schedule. Like a fitness schedule that one creates and commits to, referral group meetings serve as part of a routine networking schedule. If you use the meetings correctly – invite guests and spend a little time after the meeting talking with suitable guests, you’ll expand your business network and referral circle (whether guests join your group or not). Those who simply show up at the meeting, don’t bring guests, or spend time meeting guests, miss out on a key opportunity to build their community network and referral circle.
2. Guest Referrals. For many groups it’s estimated that guests account for as much as 20% of referral business that’s passed. Yes, guests (whether they join your group or not) are often a great source of new referral business. They have needs, a network and circle of influence. When you have guests coming to meetings on a regular basis, you frequently uncover new referrals from those you’ve never met.
3. Meeting energy. Lets face it meetings can seem redundant sometimes. Having guests each week adds a freshness and newness to each meeting. Have you ever noticed the best meetings are often those where you have a good assortment of new faces.
4. Finally, More Group Referrals. The last reason is probably the most obvious, the referral power and activity of a group is usually directly correlated to the size of the group. Quite simply the larger the group, the larger the group’s circle of influence, the more referral opportunities and referrals.
Want to a be top referral group? Want to maximize your networking circle and referral opportunities? Use your group as a weekly mixer opportunity to invite new people and spend a few minutes to meet those who come. Your doing it because it’s all about being in circulation and meeting new people in the community. You don’t know where your next referral job will come from!
GROUP & MEMBER TIPS:
– In your weekly meeting, report on who’s brought a guest in the last 30 days. If everyone works to bring a guest each month you’ll have a phenomenal group.
– Use your social networks (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter) to invite guests to your upcoming meeting. Every couple of weeks send a quick social message to your networks, asking if others would like to attend or know someone who might. Here’s a sample message, “I’ve got my weekly referral group meeting coming-up. We’ve got an active group of local business owners that meetup and actively look to refer business to one another. If you are a small business owner or professional and would like to come drop me a message.”