I recently joined a Networking Group. The results have been eye-opening. I participate not only for my business, but to also bring value to our client base. Here is a sampling of what has come our way so far: 3 new clients, web site copywriter, experts at search engine optimization, internet radio advertising with enough added value to make you wonder why you haven’t been doing this already. All of that with a user-friendly price tag. And I’m just getting started.
I was speaking with a health club recently who had just joined the Chamber of Commerce. I asked them how it was going. After some stuttering and stammering, they said they “have the book” and they are sending emails. Oh.
Many health club salespeople claim to be good at networking or say they are very involved in local functions that bring others together to network, but are they really? Most are seeking the low hanging fruit. Done right, being part of a Networking Group will provide you with an abundance of leads and new resources to grow your health club business.
Take the time to seek out Networking Groups in your area. Here are some of the reasons why you should get involved in with a local Networking Group (or 2 or 3).
- Meet People in your Trade Area – This may seem obvious, but by participating in a Networking Group, you will walk away with new contacts after each and every meeting. What better way to meet people then to attend a networking event that has people there who are seeking the same thing you are. You will be provided an opportunity to give your :30 second commercial, by sharing with your audience what you do, what you consider to be an ideal lead and anything else you may be on the hunt for. The key to successful networking is what is referred to as the “one on one.” It’s where you meet with others in the group and you learn about each others’ business and how you can help. Just imagine adding 30 – 50 local business people telling your story to others…and even doing business with your health club.
- Establish Local Business Relationships-This is something many health clubs struggle with and many are ineffective when it comes to networking for the purpose of referrals for business purposes. More often than not, it becomes a social relationship. Establishing a social relationship can be just as valuable to you as an immediate business relationship because it creates trust and integrity, which are two of the most crucial business traits you can have. Don’t rush into a Networking Group and expect immediate referrals, if you do it right, the business aspect (referrals) will come. Follow the advice of Zig Ziglar, “Help enough people in the world get they want, and you’ll get what you want.”
- Support your Local Community- Many of your local Networking Groups are actively involved in putting on community events and supporting non-profit chapters by leveraging the ability to bring other people together. If you are looking for ways for your health club to be active in the community at many levels, networking groups can often lead you to some unique opportunities.
- Become a Leader-There are no shortage of Networking Groups….get several of your staffers involved. Some will do better than others, but working with Networking Group provides great experience such as public speaking. There are many opportunities within established networking groups that allow for your health club staff to take more of an active role in the group and assume a leadership position. Taking on more tasks and responsibility in the networking group can enhance how you lead others when you get back to your health club.
- To Have Fun-You will find that Networking Groups have a “can-do” attitude and friendly approach. Networking groups are not created to be boring, the purpose is to meet others with the same goals, enhance business relationships and establish your health club on the business scene while having a good time. Have fun with a mind set to serve and you will excel with these groups.
Now, let’s start Networking!