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Visiting a leads group and the vetting process

by Administrator

A friend of mine told me an interesting story about one of her worst visits to a leads group. She had done the pre-screening process and this group looked to be a great possibility, so she visited. When she got there, the person who invited her told her where to sit. She wanted to network, but no one came up to her.  She felt a little out of place and thought members should be welcoming her.  Well, that did not happen, so she chatted with a couple people before the meeting.

During the meeting, guests got less time to introduce themselves as the regular members - it was some big invite a guest  day, so there were a lot of guests and time did not allow for them to introduce themselves like the regular members.  At the close of the meeting, the President said that all guests were to immediately meet behind the double doors in the back of the room.  She thought this was odd, but did as she was told.

When she entered the double doors, two members were there with clipboards that had applications and pens attached.  All the guests were already back there and had clipboards in hand.  She politely refused the clipboard and asked, "What is this for?"  One member said that it was the application form to join the group.  She said, "Well, I am not even sure I want to join this group.  Just as you say you want to vet me, I want to vet this group."  The member said, "Well then, what questions do you have?"  She said that she has lots of questions and before she would ever join a leads group, she would want to vet the members and do one-on-one meetings with those who were likely to be referral partners.  All the other guests listened on and agreed with her and handed their clipboards back to the membership recruiters.

If this happens to you, be very weary of this high pressure sales tactic.  When you do visit a leads group, here are some tips to help you vet the group:

1. Do not look at the members of the group as prospective clients; rather evaluate the quality of the members as prospective referral partners. Most leads groups will allow you to visit twice before asking you to join.  Visit the maximum you can.

2. While visiting you will want to determine the following:

  • What energy/spirit does the group have?  Is the group givers or takers?  You will want a group that is obvious givers (and you too need to have that mindset), has high energy and enthusiasm.
  • Do you feel a good connection with the group?  Did you feel comfortable?
  • Were you welcomed properly?  Did they greet you when you first arrived?  Were you introduced to others in the group before the meeting started?  How did they receive you?
  • Was there good leadership among the Board members in the group?
  • How was the meeting run?  Was it well-managed or a free-for-all?  Were the member's time respected and the meeting end at the proper time specified?
  • Do they stress quantity or quality of leads?  Beware of any group stressing quantity.  Chances are the quality of those leads will be low.

3. During the two week period you are visiting a leads group, concurrently ask to have one-on-one meetings with members of the group, especially those who may be good referral/power partners.  Get a good feel for their receptiveness to you joining the group.  Are the members professional, offering a quality product or service that you would be willing to refer to, and stake your reputation on?

Once you have followed this screening process, you have done your due diligence and can make a decision.  Do not be hasty in choosing one.  If it does not feel right, it probably is not right.  Keep seeking

I remember one of the leads groups my friend pre-screened already had her business category filled, but in her pre-screening process over the phone she knew it was a great group.  She stayed in touch with the group and continued to look for other groups.  Eventually, the business that was in my friend's business category was asked to leave and she was invited as a guest.  She ended up joining this group.  Patience is a key factor to finding the right group.

As with any networking event you are considering, be professional. Making a good first impression is important.  One way to make a good first impression as a professional and successful business is to have embroidered or screen printed apparel with your company logo and/or a professional name badge.  If you need ideas on corporate apparel or name badges, contact Zamar Screen Printing.

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