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Old 18th October 2011, 03:07 PM   #1
Hampers
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Default Local Networking Groups - Are YOU A Member Yet?

I have been to a couple of small business networking meetings lately and have been impressed by how loyal and basically aggressive the members are. They all go out of their way to drum up business for each other and then swap referral stories at their weekly breakfast meet up.

The only negative was that the meeting was a bit too formal and awkward for me, with time limits on speaking and keeping on topic.

Anyway, the guy who invited me along has just cancelled his order with us. He has made the switch to a member of his networking group and basically said it was like comparing apples with apples and that it was time for a change.

What should I do? I said he should not feel obligated to go with her business just because she was a member of the network group. But it made no difference.

My question is, how long should I wait before I try to win back his business? And what fail-proof 'come back to my business' lure do you have in mind?

Any suggestions are helpful, and I appreciate you effort in taking the time to leave a post. Thanks.

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Old 9th September 2014, 05:08 PM   #2
MarketingDoctor
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Arrow The playing field just tilted against you…

That's going to be a tough one, and it has little to do with perceived benefits, I'd be willing to bet.

He has to attend a minimum number of meetings, where he's face-to-face with member business owners, including your competitor. She's now made it safer, easier, less confronting and emotionally stress-free for him to do business with her than with you.

There's also the added inducement that she may refer new business his way.

Those are strong emotional appeals, both positive and negative (avoidance of pain).

You're no longer playing on a level playing field, and since most of these types of networking organisations (BNI, for example) limit membership to ONE business from each category, your chances of being accepted are diminished.

Is there another group in your area that you can join? That's typically what happens when the original group fills up too many categories.

That way, you usually have the ability to visit different chapters and gently promote your own business, even though there's already a member of your category already in that group.

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Old 9th September 2014, 07:50 PM   #3
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Default

I see from your website, Brendan, that this is a labour of love for you and your wife. "...we still get a thrill from handing over a fruit basket to the surprised person..." I always enjoy seeing couples working together.

Still, losing a customer is never a welcome event. May I ask you -- why does this concern you? Was this a particularly big or regular customer? Was he a source of many referrals for you that you fear you may now lose to your competitor?

Is it possible that you can replace him with another new customer from another source?

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Old 10th September 2014, 01:46 AM   #4
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Arrow An afterthought…

Brendan,

I've been giving your dilemma some thought and thought that these articles may be helpful. They tie together…

Hope this helps!

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