Guest Post by Kathy Marie Howell
Most people crave interaction with others. People want to be to part of a group that makes them feel good, a place where they feel like they belong. Have you ever wanted to be a part of something more than being involved in your church or PTA?
What I have found is by using intentional networking, you can increase your associations and grow your network marketing business. I am going to share some of the connections I have used to grow my business over the past six years.
# 1 BNI – Business Network International
This was one of the first intentional networking groups that I joined. The main reason I joined BNI was that I wanted to be associated with a professional group of people who had a vested interest (paid yearly dues and strict rules and regulations) in the group. We agreed to show up weekly for meetings, giving weekly presentations and agreed to meet one-on-one with fellow members.
The main purpose of BNI is to give and receive weekly referrals. The motto of BNI, Givers Gain, is accurate and I found it very beneficial to growing my MLM business. It helped me improve my public speaking as well as grow my connections with others. With over 180,000 members worldwide, BNI is the largest business networking organization in the world.
Last year alone, BNI generated 6.6 million referrals resulting in $8.6 billion dollars worth of business for its members. They offer members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts and most importantly, business referrals. Learn more about BNI.
# 2 NAPW – National Association of Professional Women
As the name suggests, NAPW is a women’s only networking group. I joined the group because it would introduce me to a wider range of people. I liked that I could join a group of professional ladies with a common goal.
The vibrant networking community provides a personal forum for you to promote your business, product or service, share ideas and expand your network. The chapter presidents often invite guest speakers to chapter meetings, enriching the breadth and depth of your professional knowledge.
Each local NAPW chapter also helps make a difference in their communities and the world through monthly philanthropic initiatives that raise awareness of issues and causes impacting their communities and the world. Learn more about NAPW.
# 3 Miscellaneous Professional Networking Events
These events can be found online, local in your area. Most of these events have a nominal yearly cost or cost per event. Some of these are more fruitful than others depending on the initial investment. I have found that the more you invest in a group, the more you get out of the group.
# 4 Meet Ups
These meet-ups are open to everyone and are usually free of charge. These are best to make casual contacts and develop friendships. It’s a great way to meet like-minded individuals in a no pressure environment. These range from structured to casual events and span from professional to entertainment. Learn more about meet-ups.
# 5 Local Educational Events
These events are usually the first events that potential partners are exposed to. They can be in someone’s home, conference room or hotels. It’s a great way to meet the team, learn more about the business and hear testimonials. Many people enjoy these meetings because it is a no pressure way to learn more about the products and business.
# 6 Regional Educational Events
These events are the place to bring your team as well as any new potential partners that live in the area. These are the events that corporate usually hosts as well as the top leaders in the company. It is a great place to validate what you and your local team are doing as well as grow your network.
# 7 Annual Educational Events
In my opinion, these events are the best way to grow your MLM business. Eric Worre, the founder of Network Marketing Pro says, “Each person you have personally sponsored who attends your yearly convention is worth $1,000 to your business each year”. By attending the big events, you are able to introduce new partners to established teammates so they can hear first hand the possibilities in front of them. It’s a great way for people to experience the culture of the company and see the BIG picture in person.
Reasons to Attend or Host Events
- It is a great way to grow your contact list outside of your company as well as build relationships inside your company.
- People gain confidence at meetings. Someone can look around the room and visibly see how many people are possibly having the same feelings and desires as themselves. This is known as social proof.
- It’s a good way to grow your communication skills and step outside of your comfort zone.
- Take advantage of the tax write offs for belonging to a networking group or attending out of town meetings.
- You will grow your visibility and credibility by hosting or attending events. People will respect you for being active in your community.
Tips for Inviting People to Events
There are lots of ways you can invite people to attend meetings and/or events. You can invite them in person, by email, phone or text. Always give plenty of notice and offer to drive them to the meeting if you really want them to attend. Another good way to boost attendance at a local meeting is to offer to meet with the person one-on-one before or after the event so that you can go over what is expected or what they have just seen and heard. For most people it’s easier to go somewhere with someone than to show up alone.
Let’s face it, in-person meetings aren’t for everyone, but everyone will have to host or attend some type of meeting to be successful in MLM. I know that web meetings are growing in popularity and are a great way to grow your business too. I also know that some people are never satisfied by only seeing people online. It goes back to feeling someone’s energy and seeing their body language. The handshake or the touch on a shoulder brings back community.
Trust is born in communities and when there is trust, someone is more likely to do business with you. Consider this…how many people in your business were brought there by a friend? That doesn’t mean your friend joined you in business necessarily, but that your friend may have recommended you, your service or your product because they trust you and took the time to listen to you. Whatever you decide, be committed. Take time to do the research to see where you feel the most welcome and then attend on a regular basis to grow your business.
About the Author
Kathy Marie Howell, 49 year old mother of three married to the man of my dreams. My story just goes to show you that when you seek passion in your life, you often find solutions to help your dreams become reality. I got into the beauty industry to develop my talents and to serve others never realizing the profound effect it would have on my future.
I have found my experience as a Master Cosmetologist, specializing in health and wellness and coaching over the past 25+ years, has well prepared me to help others find their passion as well. My intuition and deep spirituality have led me to where I am today… living a life of purpose and joy.
I AM a MOMpreneur and blessed to be one. I AM a coach and a cheerleader and will be your biggest supporter. I AM here to help you navigate through our changing world with confidence. I AM here to bring innovative and new solutions to the world and it starts with an open heart and mind. I AM here for you.