I’ve been in “leads” groups before and in all honesty I don’t usually like them. First, many of them meet weekly at 7 a.m. and frankly although I’m usually up at that hour, I prefer not to start my official work day until I’ve showered and had breakfast. And then there is the pressure of providing leads. I understand that’s the concept of the whole organization but in reality a forced lead is usually a bad lead. Leads, a.ka. referrals. need to come from a place of authenticity for it to be a good lead. I need to know you and your business before I will bet my reputation on you by sending a client or prospect.
But in spite of my dislike of leads groups I chose to join the Breakfast Club recently. It’s a great group of local business folks dedicated to helping build each others businesses by providing leads and introductions to each other. I felt confident in joining this group for a few reasons.
- They have a strong “marketing” sphere. This will make it easy for me to collaborate with and provide referrals and introductions to other members of the group.
- They meet at 9 a.m every other week instead of 7 a.m. every week.
- The group itself is awesome! They seem happy, friendly and optimistic. That says alot these days.
This past Tuesday was my second official meeting and I really enjoyed myself. Later in the morning while having my teeth cleaned I had time to contemplate the meeting–who I talked to, who talked to me, who I should talk to, etc. And an interesting and somewhat disturbing thought occurred to me. The only people I approached were young men! I spoke with other people, but they had approached me. OMG they’re going to think I’m a networking cougar! So just in case anyone noticed, I’d like to go on the record and say “I am not a networking cougar”. Next time we meet, I’ll make sure to approach folks of all ages and genders.