One of the greatest ways to add value to your network (aka Network Value Added, NVA), is to consistently invite other professionals to Bold Networking events.
So, how does inviting guests to your area events add value to your network?
- Easy prospecting for your ideal clients for your business 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…all ships rise together.
- You are able to solve bigger and more diverse problems through the strength of your growing network.
- Even more referrals and face to face introductions are possible.
- You look cool in front of your friends because you have a lot of other friends that think you’re cool.
Who should be inviting?
Recently, I was visiting with one of our team’s coaches about the topic of inviting guests and what makes for amazing teams. I shared that it is actually quite simple when it comes to growth, get three teammates inviting a couple of guests each and every week.
A team like that cannot be stopped and will experience explosive growth! That’s it, nothing fancy.
Excited at the simplicity, the coach suggested that everyone just invite one and it would work even better, and I wish that actually worked. However, it is very similiar to asking someone to feed the dog, but the dog ends up going unfed. Everyone thinks someone else will do it, because anyone can, yet no one actually does. Everyone inviting, while possible, isn’t likely because everyone thinks someone else will. Be the one who actually does each and every week.
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?
- Professionals 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.
- Professionals you are most likely to get introductions from. For example, a Realtor may typically receive introductions from a credit repair company, apartment manager, divorce attorney, and a disaster restoration company.
- Professionals 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? (Ranked in order of easiest and most productive first to last)
- Your own network – who do you know already
- Referral from other professionals in your network
- Facebook – request a recommendation
- LinkedIn – private messages to your connections
- Other networking events – chamber of commerce, coffee with friends, Meetups, Eventbrite events, Professional Associations etc.
- Search Engine to find them and then cold call
How to make the perfect 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.