If you are reading this article, you are most likely involved in some form of a group (Leads groups, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, etc). Actually, let me re-phrase what you are really involved with- a “tribe”. As Seth Godin so aptly quotes, this is a simple, almost instinctive thing that is about CONNECTION…..and it is something that people have wanted FOREVER.
I caught two important words in this quote- WANTED and FOREVER. Forever is a really, really long time, and it goes to show that no matter how we use technology to “disconnect in the name of efficiency” we still desire from life something very basic, very tribal, and very instinctive- Positive human connection!
So why are so many missing this basic point? Referral groups that have limited or negative net growth, Chambers of Commerce that have not grown in years, groups that we are involved with that never seem to really add new members? Does this sound even a little familiar?
My experience comes from working in the referral marketing industry for about 23 years. I started off as a member and eventually became an Executive Director before selling the company back to the franchise last year. The tips I am about to share with you were key in helping us to have growth in our regions on a consistent basis. Growth in any organization can be cyclical, however, from our experience, if you follow these 3 basic ideas, your organization (tribe) will start to grow again.
Are you ready to grow?
Tip #1: The Grand Poobah effect: This is something really simple, yet is missed by most organizations. When we have visitors in the house, we make sure that the head person of the organization (The Grand Poobah) takes a little extra time to make sure that they connect with the visitors, get to know them a bit, and welcome them to the event. It is important for them to show interest in the visitor, and it needs to be authentic and genuine.
Tip #2: The Tribal Tour Guide: Several people in the organization act as a “Tour Guide” for visitors. They arrive early (that is when most visitors show up) and greet visitors. They make sure to find a best seat for the visitor and spend their entire time introducing them to everyone in the organization. Any question a visitor to our tribe would have during the meeting is easily answered by this tour guide. (interestingly, even if the visitor does not join the organization, a lot of time a relationship is established that goes on long past the initial visit)
Tip #3: They want you to ask them to join: Someone has thought enough of the tribe to bring a visitor. There should be NO REASON not to ask a potential applicant to join our tribe, or at least fill out an application to get the conversation/interview started. If you skip this step, the chance of them actually joining as a member is much less than if you have that conversation with them right then and there, once the meeting/event is over.
What can you do to make it easy to join? Have an ipad on retainer with a square? You could help them get started filling the app out with a laptop? The main point I am trying to make is this- THEY WANT TO FEEL WARM, WELCOME AND WANTED– it is something that is instinctual- they want to belong! If you do not ask them to join right then and there, I can almost guarantee it will be harder to get them to become a member later on, if at all.
These are 3 basic tips that do not take a lot of time to get in order, and will have amazing effects on any group that you belong to. Try these out this month and see what happens.