13/06/2024

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A Proven Way to Super-Charge Your Networking Results – Join a Closed Networking Group

3 min read
A Proven Way to Super-Charge Your Networking Results – Join a Closed Networking Group

If you have been networking for any length of time you have likely been invited to attend a closed or exclusive networking group.  Perhaps your networking experience began with one of these groups.  Being a part of an exclusive group can be extremely rewarding, however it does require a few different skills from open networking.

These groups are also known as single industry groups.  Regardless of the title, each exclusive group will have one similar characteristic; If you join there will be no competitor of yours in the group.  This means that all the leads and referrals generated in the group for your business vertical should go to you.  Of course each person in the group will have their own circle of friends and trusted resource network and therefore you will have to earn the trust of the group, but merely joining moves you ahead in ways that might take years in open groups.

These groups are typically for the serious networker because each seat is incredibly valuable and you have to prove yourself or have someone sponsor you. Once a member of an exclusive group, you will have access on a regular basis to each member and their network to be sure, but you will become top of mind for each of the members of the group.

While regular attendance to open networking groups is necessary for success, with exclusive groups it is critical.  Most have stringent attendance requirements.  And while it may go unnoticed when you attend an open networking group and fail to share a lead or referral with another, in a closed group it will not.  You must be constantly thinking of the other members of the group and seeking ways to help them.  The good news is they will be doing the same for you.

You will get to know the members of a closed networking group very well.  Most groups require you to have one-on-one meetings with each member throughout the year.  You will have opportunities to give presentations about your product or service several times a year.   Not only will they learn more about you and your product, you will receive feedback to improve your presentation for others. 

BNI (Business Network International) is the largest exclusive networking group.  As with most, a membership fee and other criteria must be met in order to join.  You can find exclusive groups in your town by searching the internet or by checking the local and business sections of your paper.

You may find these groups so valuable that you will be tempted to join more than one.  That would be a mistake.  The power of these groups is in the loyalty that is developed between the members.  Should you join more than one group you’ll be tempted to share the same lead or referral with two different partners.  That defeats the purpose.  It is a privilege to be part of one of these groups and the stakes are very high. Referrals and guests keep these groups alive and active and they are worth their weight in gold so invite your friends and bring plenty of leads and referrals.  I highly recommend these that you join one of these groups.

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