Staff Need Stuff

Getting your staff or colleagues to buy into your membership of the group and to use the services of your fellow members if they have a need is a great way to get referrals. Think about it. Every staff member has a home, everyone probably drives a vehicle of some sort, most have families and dependents, and all spend their hard-earned money on stuff.

Every time you get a referral you should make a point of explaining to staff members where, and how that new business came from. Your staff need to see that the group is not just a club you go to once a week and then swan in late. They need to see that your active membership of the organisation is bringing in real work for them and growing wealth for the company. They need to understand the value and importance of the group.

In staff meetings, I read out a list of the specific requests that group members have made in the meeting. This allows my staff to see the diversity of companies within the Chapter and the possibility there is a chance they may know someone with a need.

Throughout my time as a networker, I have made a point of having a spare business card folder available for staff to use and encouraged them to do so. I take time when a new member joins the Chapter to explain to the staff about the new member and what they can offer.

By educating my staff as to the services and goods available they understand the importance of my membership and why I go on about it so much.

Other ways of passively involving staff and allowing them to understand what is available to them through the group is having a selection of members brochures and literature available in the lunch room or kitchen. When they are eating lunch, staff will browse and read brochures and catalogues, potentially igniting an interest using the member’s services.

Possibly the most effective technique I employ is putting a poster up in the toilet at the office. Let’s be honest, every member of staff visits the ‘smallest room’ at least twice a day, and the frequent exposure to the posters stimulates their interest. It has also had the same effect on visitors to the office, who have seen the posters in the toilet and return with questions about the group.

If you can, and this is always hard, ask staff members if they would like to attend a meeting as a visitor. Most will refuse initially, and there is nothing you can do or say to force them to attend. Hopefully, some will agree and will attend. Those who attend will see what goes on and will understand why the group is so important. These people will sometimes also become willing substitutes attending when you are not able.

Your staff have families who are a potential source of referrals. You should encourage your staff to take a card folder home with them, to use as and when needed. One day their sink will block, one day they will need to book a holiday, every aspect of family life offers the opportunity to use member.

It is important to educate your staff in the concept of your group. They may then choose to use the members for their various needs but don’t hold your breath. Even though you are dedicated to the group, your staff will have their own contact spheres and may not wish to change their habits. This is their choice and you cannot force them to use group member's services, all you can do is introduce the concept and let them make their decision.

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