My name is Alan Thompson. I am the founder and CEO of Great Business Networking LLC. We are a networking group that is headquartered out of the Charleston, SC metro area that continues to grow nationwide. We started based on a few very solid philosophies:
• Businesses need ways to grow without having to spend all of their money to do so
• Community is the best way for the American economy to recover and flourish
• Business owners can always use assistance with increasing their value, sales, quality, and marketing force.
Because of those philosophies we started an affordable group in the Charleston Metro that is focused on those things. We are an exclusive group that focuses on:
• increasing each other’s sales
• expanding our knowledge through educational information
• spreading knowledge of events in the local community
• being positive and building relationships throughout our community
GBN Tagline: Diverse Events. Meaningful Connections.
Great Business Networking, or GBN, is a vibrant organization that is redefining the networking experience for business owners and representatives through a diverse selection of events designed to build meaningful connections.
As noted above, GBN is a positive focused organization. We are here to encourage each other and create value in our local communities through positive business relationships. GBN understands that our members have other commitments, have to attend other meetings with clients, and have things that just come up. However, what we have found is that our members that are not able to come on a frequent basis lose the potential referrals they would get (due to lack of an established relationship) and it hurts the overall appearance of the group. We ask that our members attend 3 out of 4 weekly meetings per month, with a minimum of 50% of your group meetings per month. A representative from your company can attend in the original members’ place and be counted for attendance. We will not condemn you whatsoever for missed meetings, however please understand that if we do not know what is going on and your reason for missed meetings has not been approved we may be forced to fill your industry seat. Members cannot miss consecutive meetings or more than 5 meetings per year without prior approval from their Regional Director (in writing/email). We do reward those that strive to be at every meeting by awarding 1 member from each group a 1 year free membership for best attendance in a fiscal year.
The main reason why most people join our networking groups is to receive or pass leads/referrals. That is one of the main purposes of the groups existence. However, not everyone is in a position to do so, we get that. Whether you can give out 5 referrals a week or 0, we are happy to have you. However, we must provide a benefit for those that can and do strive to pass leads, so we give a free 1 year membership to whomever passes the most leads/referrals in a fiscal year.
~What is a good lead/referral?
We try our best to ensure that any leads/referrals passed at GBN are of quality. We would not want any member to waste their time on unqualified leads (i.e. making cold calls). A good referral or lead is someone that a GBN Member has spoken with about another business and endorsed them. If the member is able to 3-way call between the recommended business and the lead, they have created the ideal situation for business to be passed.
~What qualifies as a lead/referral point?
Any leads given to another member, any visitor brought to a GBN group, and any close of business.
~How do I turn in a close of business?
The GBN Member writes down the largest dollar amount of the transaction on a lead/referral slip. By largest dollar amount we mean if a commission is higher than the actual sale of an item, it would be the commission. The price of a loan or insurance policy is typically higher than the commission, so you write down the cost of the house/loan/policy. For a gym you would write down your monthly membership each month. Close of business is based on revenue passed by the members of GBN.
~Why is a close of business important?
GBN uses the number from close of business to help our members and the company market the group. We do not personally want to know how much money you are getting out of our groups, but we are here to ensure that all members have value in the group and that we can prove our groups are the best.
~Is there any monetary benefit to referring leads? Can I ask for monetary compensation?
There is not a monetary benefit in GBN for referring leads. The referrer benefits by improving the community, helping another member out, and increasing their personal value to their client by being that connection. A GBN Member should never ask another member for any form of compensation in exchange for a referral, nor should they attempt to seek compensation from the receiving members’ company in any form. Referral fees are given at the sole discretion of the receiving member.
I am a member and another company from my industry comes to my group… What do I do?
We encourage all business owners to come to GBN to see our platform. We are an industry-exclusive organization, so that visitor would not be allowed to join. However, the conflicting GBN member should be warm and welcoming to them as all members assist the visitor to refer them to another GBN group where there may be an opening for them.
I work in an MLM, am I allowed in and can I recruit other members?
We highly encourage all of our members and groups to promote all business owners and their service/product. However, we must ensure that we remember that GBN exists solely to create relationships between companies to improve the local community and to pass leads/referrals to each other. With that said, we ask that if your company has a “work opportunity”, “residual income opportunity”, or “recruiting aspect” you would not advertise this during the meeting. Your 60 second commercial should be focused solely on your product of service, how it can help your potential client, and what is a good lead for you. Should you sell someone your product or service and they decide they want to work with you at that point, that is 100% acceptable, but the point of your 60 second commercials and 10 minute presentations is to show other members how what you do/sell will benefit them or people they know. You may recruit another company to come work with your opportunity, but that cannot take place through a 60 second commercial or 10 minute presentation. That information should be passed during a meet and greet.
Conduct During Meetings
To ensure we are representing ourselves as experts in our industries and that we all appear like a group of professionals, please adhere to the following guidelines when in your meeting.
Be on time.
Do not speak out of turn, respecting the other people that are talking in the group.
Be professional and please limit your use of profanity, derogatory talk, gossip, and other negative communication.
Please silence all electronic devices and limit their usage during the meeting.
Tip the wait staff well and be polite at all times to the hosting staff/venues.
Have your order request ready before the wait staff gets to you.
Please wear professional attire that corresponds to your industry.
Remember first impressions go a long way.
Be polite and welcoming to all other members and all visitors regardless of personal conflict, conflicting industries, etc.
Follow the instructions/directions of the chapter leader or event host at all times.
Tips for your 60 Second Presentation
Say your name, business name, and industry
Say in 20 seconds what you do
Say in 20 seconds what the ideal referral or referral partner is for you
Close with your name, business name, industry, and preferred contact method
Tips for your 10 Minute Presentation
Highlight your experience in your industry or things that separate you from your competition
Mention a few featured products/services that will touch people in that moment
Be light and help to make people laugh
Practice before hand and be mindful of your time
Allow for 2 minutes worth of questions at the end
Updated January 2014. All Rights Reserved.