Expectations and extra fees

Last week’s enewsletter offered some advice on joining a networking group. This week’s includes some additional things to consider: expectations and additional fees. Let’s hit the latter first.

Most networking organizations charge a membership fee. This fee typically covers the cost to be a part of the group, lock in your category, room fees, and general administrative fees. For some groups, like My Pinnacle Network, there is no other fee besides the $250 membership fee. Other groups will offer light breakfast/lunch and beverages and will charge additional dues. That can vary from group to group. But as part of your evaluation of a networking group, ask if there are additional fees so you can make a judgment based on a total investment.

The requirements or expectations can vary from group. Most will have attendance requirements. Some will want you to pass a certain amount of referrals or bring a certain number of guests. For a few groups, you can lose your seat if you do not make the quota for referrals or guests.

There are pros and cons to regulating membership seats. Attendance is kind of the no-brainer. You join a group, invest the money and your time, showing up shouldn’t be a question. If you don’t think you can make meetings, maybe a group that meets on a regular basis is not for you.

The guest and referral quota is another story. Again, pros and cons. You want everybody who joins the group to be all in and looking to pass business and help the group grow. Making those things a requirement of your membership can help. It can also detract from the quality of guest and referral if people’s sole motivation is to keep their seat.

At My Pinnacle Network, we’ve tried to simplify things. We have 12 meetings per year and members are expected to be at them. Does that mean you don’t schedule a vacation at a certain time of the month so you won’t miss a meeting? That would be nice, but it’s not the end of the world if you miss a meeting. If you are missing every other meeting, then it’s an issue.

In terms of leads/referrals and guests, we do want members to be actively looking for both. Leads and referrals should be passed as they happen, not because you have a meeting next week.

If you have never attended a My Pinnacle Network meeting, check out our August schedule below. If you’re a member and have questions, feel free to drop a line.