Like many networking groups we allow visitors to attend twice, at no charge, before asking them to decide whether they would like to join or not. In the majority of cases they sign up there and then (and no, that isn’t because we give them the hard sell), which is great. It means that in the space of just two visits (sometimes it just takes one) they’ve seen what Bury Business Group can offer them.
How then can you make sure you get the most out of your two visits, so you can be in the best position to make an informed choice about joining?
Do your research
No matter what group you’re planning to visit, whether it’s BBG, BNI, BforB, or any other group for that matter, you should always do some research beforehand. Take the time to look through the members list, and decide in advance who you definitely want to meet on the day. You might even want to take the time to reach out to those specific individuals on social media, such as LinkedIn, so that you have an immediate introduction when you meet face to face.
Make sure you know where you’re going
This might seem like the most obvious point, but you’d be surprised. Make sure you have all the details you need about the venue, the time the meeting starts and finishes, and anything else you might need to know.
Ask any questions you might have in advance of the meeting, so you don’t find yourself feeling in the dark as the date approaches. If the meeting is being held in a large venue, make sure you know what room you’re meant to be going to. Check that there’s ample parking (and if you have to pay for it) so you’re not caught off-guard.
Bring your business cards
Make sure you’re prepared, and bring a good supply of business cards with you. At BBG we allow visitors to pass their cards around the table; however, you may prefer to target specific individuals and make personal introductions, and hand your details out to them, rather than give them to everyone.
However you want to work is up to you; just make sure you have a strategy.
If you have made any good connections at the meeting, or if there was someone you wanted to meet, but didn’t get the chance to, make sure you follow up afterwards. Reach out on LinkedIn; you have an immediate introduction “Hello, I was at BBG this morning, sorry we didn’t get a chance to talk”.
Think about what you can add
Good networking relationships work both ways. Our members are there to pass referrals, but they are also there to receive them. They can’t do that if you’re not able to attend on a regular basis, or if you can’t contribute anything to the group.
We’re proud of the fact we don’t number-crunch (though we do keep stats), and we never harass people into completing referrals and passing business. That doesn’t benefit anybody. All we do ask is that you can be honest with yourself about the level of time you have to commit to the group and its members, and what you can do to help them. Remember, it’s not always about business passed, but collaboration, introductions and so on.
To book your first free visit, just get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to help. See you soon! CLICK HERE