Many years ago I was introduced to business after hours events in Denver which are billed as an opportunity to meet and greet many people. They are a time to relax with a drink in hand and see old friends. Similar daytime networking events have started up in Denver, mostly at coffee houses and other public venues where they charged a fee to visit. Their wrinkle is that they have everyone introduce themselves in 30 seconds. That really didn’t allow me to get to know them well enough to feel comfortable recommending them.
What really comes from these casual meetings/meetups? It is hard for me to see the benefits. I am looking for something more. I want a group more focused and determined to be advocates for one another, I wanted people I could get to know and be able to trust when I recommend them to someone. Professional sales people recognize that their reputation and recommendations carry amazing influence and value. These meet – ups seem to be focused on smaller products.
When I first started real estate in Denver I was told to find some good “bird dogs”, folks who would stay alert for my business opportunities and help me grow. The hard part; regulated by the Colorado Division of Real Estate; is that I cannot compensate them for their efforts! So a “bird dog” co-operative is needed here! Mortgage lenders have the same issue, as do insurance agents, financial planners, etc.
About 20 years ago I was introduced to the concept of “Leads Clubs” where folks were doing exactly what i was looking for. This advice came from some very smart real estate trainers, who are not from Denver. These are a smaller groups who exchanged business opportunities they had found in the last week. The trouble was, as a Denver Realtor, all the clubs had my category filled, so again I listened and when a spot came available, I was first in line with a check. I joined the Southglenn Chapter of Ali Lassen’s Leads Club. I have 20 “BIRD DOGS” plus a number who are no longer members but are still advocating for me. It works but it does take dedication and persistence.
I discovered another great benefit to my clients and friends: I suddenly had a large network of dependable people I could send business to, as well as a sounding board of folks who know me for all those crazy ideas I get (they are the public after all). The best part was when I started inviting clients and customers to join, because now I had a built in fan club and it was a synergistic relationship for all.
If you, or someone you might know here in Denver, could benefit from a group based upon the mutual benefits of keeping an eye or an ear peeled for business, drop me a note.