Best Techniques to Invite Guests to your Referral Group Meetings

Have you ever asked someone if they’d like to come check out your group’s meetings and gotten the reply, “No thanks, that’s not for me.“? This is a common response. Being invited to a leads group meeting can feel a little like being invited to a multi-level marketing event. It smells of recruitment and you’re not sure how much pressure you’re going to encounter. There are better ways to invite people.

Here are two simple techniques to invite professionals to your group. Neither is high pressure, and both are about helping the person you’re talking to.

I have someone I want you to meet…

The best way to invite people to a group is to follow the same principle you use in being an effective networker. Don’t look to sell anyone on anything, simply look to help promote through introductions and referrals.

For instance, if you meet a local electrician and you have a Realtor and General Contractor in your group, don’t say “I have a leads group I want you to come to.“, instead tell the electrician, “I have a couple of great tradespeople I want to introduce you to. I think they might be excellent connections for you to generate referral business“. Then ask him if he’s available to come to your group’s next gathering for an intro.

Useful introduction and referral is the name of the game. You are simply trying to connect people who can help one another.

We need someone we can refer“, is another technique to sometimes use. Tell people you meet that you belong to a referral group and we are looking for someone in their profession that everyone in our group can refer clients to. Would they be interested in meeting others in our referral network? You’d love to make some intros.

Remember, the key to inviting people to your group is to present it to them in a way that is focused on helping them connect with others who may be helpful to them.

Tips for Inviting and Recruiting

  1. Develop a strategy based on building Core Groups
  2. Be willing to spend 10 min. a day on PRE matters.
  3. Review personal contacts and Chamber member rosters, direct mail pubs such as Clipper Magazine, Val Pak, diner adv. place mats and the like. Companies that are advertising now are the most likely to be open to new ways to get customers.
  4. Use phone, US mail, email and face to face contacts. What works on one prospect may not be what works on the next one. Use the tools PRE has already developed. Try always to have some kind of a leave behind or web site link for the prospect. Don’t think you must reinvent the wheel to contact people. Work your warm market first. Personal relationships are important in PRE because they are important in nearly all businesses.
  5. Don’t oversell. Some people give too much information too early in the conversation. Our goal is to get a commitment to attend a meeting. Our goal isn’t a “join” decision before the prospect has even come to a meeting and met the other members. One approach is to simply offer the person a chance to meet other sharp business people who work really hard to find business for each other.
  6. After you have confirmed the attendance of your guest, inform the membership chairperson. A best practice here for the chairperson is to email the membership about the forthcoming guest. This gives other members advance notice so they may be on best behavior, etc. Top recruiting chapters have at least one other member contact the guest prior to the weekly meeting where the guest will be attending, mentioning that he/she is looking forward to meeting them, PRE is a really good thing, etc.
  7. To help the guest do well at the weekly meeting, spend a few minutes with the person properly preparing him/her for the meeting. Make sure he has enough biz cards. Make sure she has a 30 sec. infomercial ready. When the guest is not properly prepared, it’s a reflection on you as a member.
  8. The Membership Chair is the 2nd most important office in the Chapter after the President. Proper follow up with guests has a very big influence on conversions from guests to members. Make sure you have a committed, enthusiastic person with good communication skills as your Membership Chair.