Last week’s topic discussing the correlation between gratitude in elevator pitches and success in networking groups struck a real chord with readers. This week’s topic is essentially the opposite of gratitude: resentment. And it can be a death sentence to not only leads, but it can cast a cloud over an entire networking group.
If you have been in a networking group for any length of time and done your share of one-on-ones, you may have heard grumblings from fellow members about certain members not passing them business. These grumblings were probably louder if your fellow member had passed leads to the member they are complaining about. If you are in a situation where somebody is bashing a fellow member, it’s your job to get them off the “whine without the cheese”.
That’s not saying they might not have a beef. Yet complaining about somebody not passing referrals never solved the problem. If anything, it creates an animosity that casts a cloud over your group and makes others uncomfortable-and that diminishes the effectiveness of the group.
So, what do you do? Politely suggest to your fellow member to take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves a few questions:
- Have I done a thorough one-on-one with this person (you’d be surprised how many people expect referrals without having sat down with said person)?
- Did I present myself in a way that makes me easy to refer? Sometimes preparing a list of businesses you’re looking to be referred to and a list of how you can help them makes it much easier to pass a referral.
- If it’s a scenario where you have passed your fellow networking group member a lead, did you take following steps:
- Contact the lead to let them know somebody from your networking group would be reaching out to them?
- Did you follow up with your fellow group member to see whether they connected with your referral and whether or not it was the right kind of referral?
- Follow up with the referral.
If this exercise turns up nothing, suggest they set up another one-on-one (you can do as many of those as you need, there is no limit). This is an opportunity to be direct. An example of what to say might be:
“I was hoping we’d be good sources of leads and referrals for each other. Is there anything you can tell me about your business that might help me pass more referrals your way?”
Granted, this is not really addressing the problem. But once they answer that question, most people will reciprocate and ask how they can help you. That should lead to a discussion that will lead to an answer. Nine times out of 10, the reason one networking group member is not passing leads to another is about them and not the other member.
No matter what the reason for not passing leads, this exercise is really meant to stop the bad mouthing and resentment and get back to work on passing leads and referrals. That’s why when discussing people in your networking group with other members it’s best to follow the golden rule–if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
Grumbling about what you’re not getting from other group members typically makes you look as bad as the person you’re complaining about. And the last thing you want is that frustration giving other members of your group a reason to hesitate in passing referrals to you, too.