I meet once a month for breakfast with a group of people representing a wide variety of businesses and industries. The sole purpose is to generate leads and business for each other.

Several years ago, five of us got together to discuss the possibility of creating a networking group. We brought in guests from businesses that did not compete. In a short time, we created a group of about 30 businesses in my geographical target market. The members are interested in hearing about the work I do, how I get my business and what distinguishes me from the many other insurance agents who are around.

This group has resulted in leads to persons and businesses that I would not have had ordinarily, as well as access for my clientele to the group’s businesses and services. By actively referring business and assistance to my clients, I am able to help my clients grow within their industries while keeping my name and reputation before them.

This is a simple group to start. Some basic rules should be included, though.

  • Members should not be in competition for business. If you handle only life, health and disability insurance, then you should not feel threatened and should encourage a good property-casualty agent to join.
  • The people invited as guests and prospective members should want their businesses to grow as much as you do. Established companies with more business than they can handle will not offer good networking opportunities.
  • Everyone should commit to make this the most important meeting of the month (or however frequently you meet).
  • A formal part of the meeting should be a “thank you” portion to show members not active in networking how profitable and appropriate it can be.

Editor’s note: The preceding Million Dollar Sales Idea was originally published in the August 1991 issue of Life Insurance Selling.

For more Million Dollar Sales Ideas, click here.

For more networking advice, see:

Take your networking to a new level

How Belonging to a Professional Association Can Help You

Building Your Business – Final Keys to Success