“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Former undisputed world heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson
Every group goes through adversity. I want our groups to be able to handle challenges that arise with confidence. Groups that don’t freak out or fold when something happens are our strongest groups. Our strongest groups generate the most referrals, income, create a great experience for the individuals, and in my opinion are just more fun to be a part of.
In this education piece I want to hit a few common adversity scenarios and how our stronger groups versus our “OK” groups typically handle them.
1. Membership Attrition
Attrition happens. We tell groups to plan on losing 20% of their members annually and that it usually won’t come conveniently spaced out. Usually it hits all it once.
Strong groups find a way to turn a negative into a positive. Attrition creates opportunity.
Ex: In January our Lexing10Connectors group lost 7 members in a 30 day window for a variety of reasons. By March they’d replaced every spot & were back up above their previous member total. Attendance rate is up. They viewed the attrition as an opportunity to expand their network through attrition. They kept a “next member up” coupled with a “maintain old friends/Past Members” attitude.
The “Ok” groups usually adopt a chicken little…the sky is falling mindset. They spread negativity, concern, & too often freak out.
Suggested Mindset: Have a “next person up” mindset while maintaining the past member relationships. Our program isn’t a lifetime deal. It has a “right window” for everyone.
2- Speaker is late or no shows
Strong group response:
-Everyone gets 2-5 minutes to dive deeper into their target market & goals. Make it fun but productive. Monitor your time.
-Have all members pull their “Referrals tab.” Go in detail over pending/active referrals. Was it a good referral? If yes, why? If no, why? Where is at? What could we have done differently?
-Someone steps up on 30 seconds notice and speaks. Most of us are in sales, while not ideal we should be able to “go” on 5 seconds notice and speak about our goals, target market, recent client stories, needs, etc. Just pull your BIO from the downloads tab (put on screen or print) . Then Go!
Typical “OK Group” response:
-“well…we don’t have a speaker today, guess we’ll just skip that section”
Suggested Mindset: Have a backup plan. If a speaker is late, move up the Referrals Report & Group Business. If your speaker can’t attend, then let’s make good use of the time by either plugging in another member, diving into active/pending referral opportunities, or giving everyone 2-4 minutes to go more in depth on needs.
3- Referrals are low this week
Strong group response:
– Will say “Our referrals are a little low for the last two weeks. Let’s take an extra 3-5 minutes to setup some F-2-F meetings with members & guests. F-2-F meetings drive future referrals. I view F-2-F meetings like water & fertilizer for a plant!
Typical “Ok Group” response:
-Will pull up the referral report for the last month or 6 weeks to hide the #’s or not put the report on the board that week.
Suggested Mindset: Don’t ever hide your #’s. You can’t fake this program. Most importantly recognize that you will have swings in referral volume. When referrals are down focus on things you can control to bring them back up by encouraging F-2-F meetings.
Strong group focus:
-They stick to their annual calendar of meetings
-Attendance rate is above 85% and the meetings are productive & fun
-*They usually don’t have a member text thread
Typical “Ok group” approach
-Will cancel/re-schedule 2-3 meetings each year based on who can/can’t be there.
-Almost always happens last minute as a result of a group email/text.
-Often times the biggest casualty in this are guests & their effort to grow. No prospective member wants to join a group that doesn’t have their stuff together. Get and stay organized.
Suggested Mindset: Strong groups plan ahead. They know when holidays and typical conflicts (Election Day, spring break, fall break, KY Derby, etc) are and plan around them in advance. Then they stick to their plan.
5. Have an under-performing member
Strong group focus:
-They address the issue when there is a problem. Usually starts with F-2-F meetings with key referral sources/sphere of influence members to check in, then moves to director/group leadership. Finally, strong groups aren’t scared to remove a member that no longer fits.
-Have a good group culture focused around engagement & participation in the activities that drive referrals: High Attendance, F-2-F meetings, helping others, running good meetings, & consistently hosting guests.
Typical “Ok” group approach:
-Usually they ignore the issue and hope that the member will non-renew or leave because they aren’t getting referrals, which almost never happens. What normally happens is there is a slow bleed out of energy & commitment from the good members who eventually leave or become burnt out.
Suggested Mindset: Address a problem when it comes up. Don’t sit on it.
Good teams win games they shouldn’t win every night in sports. Bad teams consistently lose games they should win. Focus on what you can control. You can control how well you execute The Referrals Group system and process. Don’t flinch when adversity hits and work the process at the highest level you can at each meeting.