Finding balance between being too loose & too rigid in your meeting

Before I started The Referrals Group the smartest thing I did was to seek advice on our business model from over 55 people that I thought were smarter than me.  It was a great exercise for me and shaped philosophically how I tried to build groups from day one.

I came from an environment where every member had to participate in the referral section at every meeting.  It created great accountability, but the un-intended side effect was a lot of junk referrals were passed.  The program worked, but it could be extremely rigid.

In my meetings I heard two things over & over that became core principles of how to build our program:
1.     Don’t place referral quantity over a high close ratio and give us room to have some dialog in the meeting.  Basically, don’t force us to be too rigid.
2.     Let’s us pick our ideal membership size vs you telling us what it should be

Referral Close %…..

  • Our benchmark/goal is to get groups averaging a 40-45% referral close ratio on referrals passed.  We like to hit this by the 18 month mark and to never leave that range.
  • Don’t get me wrong.  Volume matters…A lot, but our focus is on both passing quality and quantity of referrals.  You can strive to do both.
  • Our referral report is designed to give you alot of data.  It should also provide some peer to peer accountability.   You can see who needs helps and who is performing at a high level based on pending referral volume and the referral sent/received close %.

We take time to talk about every referral we pass
Our goal here is to make sure that we pass referrals and not leads.  In the process of talking about referrals our goal is to teach members in the  the group how to identify future referral opportunities and what language is most effective to “tee up” each other.  WATCH “How to Talk about a Referral”:

Membership Size…
In my previous role I was good at building groups over 35+ members.  I started over 12 groups that went from 1-35+ members in time period of less than 6 months.  As I worked on a business model I was told by people I trusted over and over to let groups tell you what size they wanted to be and then help them achieve it.

Since 2014 I’ve found that if a group wants to be big we can help them do it.  If they want to be 8-10 members and have an intimate environment we know how to help them build and maintain that as well.

I find it important for members of the group to talk about their ideal size and be on the same page about what it takes to get/maintain that size.  Do the math and work with us on how to get there.   Here is a guide:

Final Thought…
Sometimes our groups get too loose.  Our top performing groups follow the agenda, run a timer, have education pieces, track prospective guests on our site, and use at a high level.  They find by doing these intentionally well that there is time for additional dialog and creativity of new ideas to make them better.

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