One of the greatest ways to add value to your network (aka Network Value Added, NVA), is to be constantly and consistently inviting other professionals to Bold Networking events in your area.
Why Invite Guests to Events
So, how does inviting guests to your area events add value to your network? Clearly, there is a self-serving interest I have in your helping to market Bold Networking, as I’d like Bold Networking to expand internationally and impact as many lives as possible. However, it is definitely a win/win, as you…
- Can easily prospect for your ideal clients in a very low-pressure method of simply inviting them to meet the professionals you network with.
- Expands your influence by adding Centers of Influence (C.O.I. from an earlier training topic analogy of COI ponds vs. KOI ponds.)
- You also expand the influence of your fellow teammates by expanding their associations
- You are able to solve bigger and more diverse problems through the strength of your growing network
- More referrals are possible
- You look cool in front of your friends because you have a lot of other friends
Just this evening I was visiting with one of our team’s coaches about the topic of inviting guests and what makes for amazing teams. It is actually quite simple when it comes to growth, get 2 to 3 teammates inviting a couple of guests each and every week. And, if at all possible, get everyone invite a single guest every week (two if they are being wild and crazy). A team like that cannot be stopped and will experience explosive growth! That’s it, nothing fancy.
Who to Invite
So, if you’re on board with the idea of inviting every week, and I really hope you are, who might you consider inviting?
- Those professions you are most likely to give an introduction to. For example, a realtor may be sending a ton of referrals to a heat and air, roofing, handyman, home inspector, and mortgage person.
- Those professions you are most likely to get introductions from. For example, a realtor may typically receive introductions from a credit repair company, apartment leasing manager, and a disaster restoration company.
- Those professions most likely to be in a networking group. For example, Financial Advisor, P&C Insurance Agent, Life and Health Insurance Agent, Mortgage Lender, Health and Wellness, Accountant/Bookkeeper/Payroll, Voluntary Benefits, and Marketing Services (Web, Print, Promo).
Where to Invite
Now that you know who might make for a great invitation, where do you find them?
- Other networking events – chamber of commerce, coffee with friends, Meetup.com, Eventbrite, Professional Associations etc.
- LinkedIn – this is my number one preferred way
- Search Engine to cold call
- Referral from other professionals in your network
- Facebook – request a recommendation
Making the Invitation
Personally, I just come out and ask. I may say something like, “Bob, this may not be a fit for you and that’s okay, a few of us are actively seeking a __________ to send referrals to. Do you know anyone that might be open to coming to lunch to meet some of the professionals I network with and perhaps gaining more referrals?”
Once the invitation is accepted, I recommend sending a calendar invitation, following up, and perhaps even confirming the day of. Some people I’ve followed up for months before their schedule and business need would even allow them to break free for lunch. Others, were a one call cold call and they showed up, joined, and have both given and received dozens of referrals and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business.