One of the biggest questions or worries our members have around Visitor’s Day is “I don’t know who to invite”, or “I can’t think of anywhere to even look for people to come”. Rest assured….we can help you out.
Below are several strategies that have worked for others before…choose to use one or a few of these different methods to get your names ready for letters!
- Pick 4 Categories. Think of 4 categories you would like to have in the group (Painter, Jeweler, Body Shop, and Electrician….there….I even gave you 4). Now, go to google, and find 5 of each of these professions to invite. Google “Painter Rochester Hills, MI”, or “Jeweler Oakland County”. Get the address and maybe business owner’s name for each of these businesses, and within 10 minutes you should have 20 businesses easily.
- Find Complimentary Services To Yours. We want more people to join BNI so we get our name out in the area, and get more closed business. Consider inviting 20 people that would be complimentary to your profession. For example, Joe @ Automotive Authority should be able to invite Tire Shops, Auto Detailing Companies, Body Shops, Dealerships….any of these professions would be most likely to pass Automotive Authority some business, as they compliment his services. (PS- you’re welcome Joe!)
- Look Through Advertisements. This is one of my favorites. I usually religiously look through ads and Valpack flyers that come to my home….(and often see BNI members who pay for advertising….like Jeff Todd). If you see an ad in the paper, flyers, or other supplementary “junk mail” that you might get, if they list their name and business address, consider adding them to your list….they’re already GIVING you their information!
- Phone Book?? What’s That? Many of us still have that dusty old phone book in the cupboard. Yes, people still advertise in there, and it’s a great way to find names. Flip through there, find the catchiest ads, and add them to your list. It’s quick and simple!
- Church Paper. Many of the members of our group belong to churches or other places of worship that print a bulletin each week. Many of them list advertisers in the back, and often list the names of business owners saying “Parishioner”, or “Church Member”. Consider thumbing through these and see if any would be a good fit for our group.
- Who Have You Used? This one always gets me….there always seems to be some business that I personally need the services of, but we don’t have someone in that category in our group. (This year, it was a gutter service, cement leveling company, and a roofer for me). Anyone who is coming out to give me a bid is going to be getting an invite! Think of the people you had work on your home or car this year that weren’t in BNI….would they be good to invite?
- Other Networking Groups. Check with the various Chamber groups in the area, or other networking groups you belong to. Often times their websites will list members and businesses and it’s a great way to find people who are already familiar with network marketing who might be less intimidated about a weekly meeting.
- Be A Nosy Neighbor! See that roofer at a neighbor’s house? Take a picture of their truck and invite them to the meeting! We all see trucks and businesses while we’re out on the road or working at someone else’s house. If it looks like a good fit for our group, take a quick picture of their truck, and google their address and invite them to the meeting. You already know they work in our area, and they’re probably looking for more business.
- Check Bulletin Boards & “Leave A Card- Take A Card Areas”. We’ve all been to a doctor’s office or other business that has a slew of business cards right at their reception desk. Often times, these are companies that this company likes, works with often, or endorses. I’ve talked about the community board at grocery stores and hardware stores in the future, but they too are great places to find business cards for people to invite to the meeting!
- Ask Your Spouse/Family. This is often the easiest, but the one we forget to do the most. At dinner tonite, as them “who do you think would be good to invite to BNI??” I’ve gotten tons of suggestions out of my husband and parents over the years, and it’s a way to think outside of the box and get some other input on the situation. If they suggest a category you already have in the group…it might mean it’s time to do a 1-2-1 with that member because clearly, you’re not talking about their business enough!
- Facebook/Social Media. It might seem like a shot in the dark, but I know several people in our group who literally just go through their LinkedIn connections, or scroll through Facebook, and can easily find 20 people or more to invite in the categories we’re looking for! Give it a try and see if you can find some that way!