This education blog content comes from an interview with Stephanie Preston.  The group she is in (Lex9) has tripled in size and referral volume has increased 4.5 times in the last 18 months.  Stephanie is a market leader with BB&T in Lexington, KY.

Question 1(Bart):  Stephanie you told me at a meeting last year that you’ve gotten a lot of business from guests.  What do you do that works? 

Stephanie:  
“I’ve closed 5 new clients in the last 12 months from guests and a have a few more as active targets.  I do a few things with each guest:
1-    I always reach out for coffee.  I want to learn about them and what they do.
2-    I try to help them in our coffee meeting by connecting them to someone I know that can help them out.
3-    I don’t ever sell.  I give them a BIO/bank flyer and simply tell them that I’d be happy to help them, their friends, clients, co-workers, etc. who may have need.

Question 2(Bart):  What do you like most about your group & The Referrals Group?

Stephanie: 
“I love our group’s energy & enthusiasm.  We genuinely like each other and have similar ethics and values.  I think that matters a lot!”

Previously I was a member of BNI.  I love that The Referrals Group is less time consuming and, in my experience, more effective.  Also, I like that there isn’t pressure to just add members.  We add members, we focus on growth, but we focus on finding the right fit.  Plus, the entire group votes on new members.  That keeps us focused on adding the right people.

Question 3(Bart):  When you first visited the group had 6 members.  Then they kicked out 2 of them to drop down to 4 members.  What made you want to join?

Stephanie: 
There was a good vibe from the core group.  I felt like the group could grow and felt that I could help select future members vs joining an established group.  I also knew they took it serious since they were willing to get rid of people when they were small.  The group also fit my schedule which gave me urgency to make it work.

Question 4(Bart): - The group has quadrupled their referral volume & tripled in membership size & in the last 12 months.  What things did both you individually & the group do to make this happen?

Stephanie: 
As a group we focused on:
-We invited a ton of guests.  We didn’t worry about if they were a potential member or not.  We just invited.  “Let’s invite!” became our rallying cry.
-We have/had a lot of positive & energetic meetings.  That matters so much!

Individually I focused on:
-I reach out to every guest outside the meeting for coffee, try to bring energy to the meetings, and try to help find opportunities for other members in our group.

Thank you for taking the time to do this.  You can reach Stephanie at:
Stephanie Preston | BB&T | Market Leader IV
BB&T Plaza 200 West Vine St., Suite 100 Lexington, KY 40507
Direct:859.281.2135 | spreston@bbandt.com