Six Ways to Play it Forward in Networking (Part 4): Inviting
The fourth installment of our blog series will focus on ways to invite visitors to your networking event. But first, we will cover why a culture of continuous inviting is a great way to help those in your network grow their business as well as yours.
A big part of networking is nurturing relationships with existing members of your referral group. Moreover, a great way to strengthen these relationships is to introduce your members to new connections. In the world of networking, professionals strive to pass referrals to each other, but often overlook inviting as an effective method to generate referrals. Although you’ll want to invite entrepreneurs looking to promote their own business, you’ll find that they’ll have a need for the services of one or more of your fellow members. And those two reasons is why you should have a routine of continuous inviting.
Who should we invite?
In a nutshell, all should be welcome to attend a networking event, regardless of whether their seat is taken or not. Although this may sound counter-productive because they wouldn’t be able to join the group, you have to remember why you are inviting in the first place. If it’s to generate new business for your fellow members, then it doesn’t really matter whether they join or not. As an example, the mortgage broker in your chapter would love for you to invite a realtor every week to the meeting despite the chapter already having a realtor. Introducing the mortgage broker to a new realtor every week gives them the opportunity to grow their business through those new connections. The realtor in the group should not feel threatened by a one-time visitor attending a meeting since they stand no chance of earning referrals from the members with established trust.
How should one invite?
When joining a referral group like MNO, members enjoy a unique benefit of having new visitors every week. This because they have devised a highly effective two-part method to invite called the Post and Promo method.
The first part involves generating a post on a local business group on Facebook. There are a handful of business groups on Facebook that are local to all US metro areas, each with a least a thousand members looking to grow their business. The language of the post should include an announcement of the day and time that your group meets and that you meet in order to pass referrals to each other.
As replies are generated on the post, you’ll have a wide selection of entrepreneurs expressing interest in attending the zoom. Depending on your group, you’ll want to send them the information that they’ll need in order to attend. MNO has a great feature in its app that allows members to register visitors to attend with just a couple of clicks. Visitors will get a reminder the day of, thus ensuring a higher attendance rate.
MNO is quite unique in that its members use its revolutionary link-sharing app to promote each other on social media. Most of the entrepreneurs that you’ll find on social media groups like Facebook groups understand the value of sharing links on social media. Organic traffic helps websites and profiles climb search ranks and often generate new business from this traffic.
The second part of the Post and Promo method is perusing these same Facebook groups and seeking businesses that generate their own posts to promote their business. Simply replying to their posts and inviting them to attend your meeting and promote their business there tends to spark interest since attending will satisfy their need of getting their business out there.
Make the most of the visitors
When visitors attend a meeting for the first time, they are sometimes a little nervous. It’s very important that you welcome them and introduce them to members who would make great connections.
This introduction could act as a catalyst to generating new business for your fellow member. If a referral is generated from this introduction, you’re building a stronger relationship with your member who will do what they can to pass a referral to you in return.
Don’t forget that you’re also looking to grow your own business, so when the meeting is over make sure to reach out to the visitor and offer your services. It’s recommended that you share their business links in one of the various Facebook groups and tag them too. This small act could help them decide to use your services or recommend you to their network of friends, clients, or family members.
MNO: The Alternative to Traditional Networking
Fortunately, there’s a California-based company called MNO that developed an app that makes all what we suggested possible. The MNO Member App allows members to share others’ links across social media in a more effective way than ads.
Members create and share each others’ links through the app on social media in order to build each others’ business. Members also use the app to log all referrals passed between each other. In turn, members are able to log business bucks that are generated by these referrals. These logs help elevate the stature of members who play it forward to others, and this stature helps bring referrals their way. This is because there’s an understanding that they are a professional networker and know how to pass referrals to others.
If you’d like to visit an MNO chapter and promote your business one of our networking zooms, click here and register to attend. You can also visit their Facebook page to learn more. These zooms give a glimpse of the MNO Member App as well as a chance to meet other professionals.