Business Groups – Make the Most of Your Membership

Business groups provide excellent marketing and networking opportunities. There are many different ones to join. What you need to do is make sure you join the right business group for you and your needs, and then you need to be an active member of the business group.

There is usually more than one business group in your area. You don’t want to spend all your time going to different business group meetings so you need to choose carefully. When you are looking for a group to join one rule is almost always universal:

The bigger they are the better they are. Big business groups will pull more active members out to networking events. Generally the more people that are in the room, the better the odds are that you are going to connect with the right kind of person who could be a future sweet spot client.

Regardless of the exact business group you join you have to actually attend the meetings. You won’t make contacts through osmosis. When I hear someone say that they tried a business group and it didn’t work for them 9 times out of 10 they went to one meeting; for whatever reason they didn’t like the meeting and never went back.

Business group marketing is no different than any other type. If you are going to do a cold call campaign and the first person is rude and hangs up on you, do you retreat to the woods never to be heard from again? No. Here are some tips to help you find, persist with, and make the most of your business group membership.

Don’t go into a meeting with a negative, intimidated or apprehensive attitude. This will show through to the business group members.

Check out all the business groups within a one-hour radius. Don’t settle on the first one you come across.

Go to at least two business group meetings before you decide it is right for you.

Be patient. Don’t go in expecting to meet your magic client within an hour.

Force yourself to move out of your comfort zone and mingle and schmooze with the best of them. Seek out other people who look awkward and start by talking to them.

Find the accountants, engineers, controllers, operations managers; all those analytical types who aren’t tremendously gregarious or who aren’t born talkers. All these people make fantastic contacts for future referrals and business because a lot of them are the IT decision makers in small companies.

The Bottom Line on Business Groups

Business group membership gives you access to the decision makers in the companies your business is targeting. The most important thing to remember is that you will get out of your business group experience what you put in. Don’t give up at the first sign of disillusionment. Find the right business group to join and make the most of every meeting.

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