In a business where good leads are critical, joining networking organizations is a no-brainer. But finding the right fit can be a challenge.
Brian Zeldes, president of BKZ Contractors in Warminster, Pa., found himself in this predicament a decade ago when he joined various networking organizations. But Zeldes didn't find the structure he craved. Meetings were often unorganized, got off track, or weren't producing any leads for his company.
Then he heard about LeTip International, a professional organization with local chapters nationwide. In each chapter, there can only be one member from each business category, so there is no conflict of interest. The weekly breakfast meetings are organized and last just 45 minutes.
Because each member comes from a different profession, referrals flow freely. “The structure of the group,” Zeldes says, “is to do business with everyone.” Zeldes also found the level of member commitment he needed. Members must attend all meetings and are encouraged to pass on one qualified lead to another member each meeting. Members pay a $1,000 annual fee to the national organization, plus quarterly dues and incidentals.
Zeldes considers the expense and the time he spends with LeTip a slice of his marketing budget. Group members have referred family, friends, and colleagues to Zeldes' company. “I'm not looking for a referral every week,” he says. “I'm looking for the opportunity to get my foot in the door.”