Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Inviting Mindset

I am always amazed when people don't remember or know an important rule of networking -- the one that says, "the person who invites, is the one who picks up the check." Now this is not one of the Ten Commandments of Networking a Mixer that Dr. Ivan Misner, Chairman of BNI, talks about, but it is probably should be the 11th commandment.

I happened to be at a networking event this week where I had volunteered to be at the registration table to take money. It is a great place to be because I got to greet every member and visitor. A very nice lady came to the table and related that she was the guest of a member. The member had not arrived yet, so we introduced her to one of the welcome committee members knowing that they would make her feel right at home.

The inviting member arrived after the lunch started. I asked if this member would be paying for the guest, too. The reply was, "No, I don't really know her that well." In addition, this member needed to be introduced to the guest. Now I have invited plenty of people who I've never met in person to events , but I sure try to be at the event when they arrive. After I introduced the two, I thought to myself that with this attitude the member would never get to know this guest very well. The member does not seem to have a welcoming open attitude.

What are your thoughts, either from the member's or the guest's point of view?


Sandy of Sandy's Stuff for Women said...

Inviting guests to a networking event is a great way to help someone, but then the good deed is wiped out when the supposed host fails to act like one. I can't imagine the example cited was a member of the C.N. community, but if so, it's time for a refresher course.

Leasa said...

Inviting a guest to a networking event and paying for that guest is an ideal rule of thumb to follow. However, like any rule I think, sometimes you need to bend to do what makes sense for the particular situation.

If the scenario you described involves a man and a woman who did not know each other very well or at all -- then maybe the woman would not feel comfortable having the man pay for her -- or vice versa.

Another example, when you have built a strong business relationship with someone, it may not matter who invites whom to what; you may have an understanding that you will go dutch to keep things simple or you may pay for that person -- even if they did the inviting -- just as another way of saying thank you.

Lynda said...

If you invite a guest to a networking event, your job is NOT done. You are responsible for arriving early to meet them, especially if you don't know them. And paying any fees associated with the event on their behalf should be the 11th Commandment.

Debra Gorman said...

I agree with Debby. When you have invited a guest to an event, as the host you should be prepared to pay for your guest and to be on time. In fact, I like to arrive slightly earlier than my guest so I can take care of paying and to get settled so I am ready to play host to my guest.

Dee Appt said...

One of the most powerful tools I have learned from CNP is the host that I can become at networking events. This host opportunity will in the end bring benefit to me without asking for anything. You have to put yourself out there without thought of your gain. So pay the fee and be their host and see what happens because of that event.

Tim Speweik said...

All the hard work was already accomplished...follow through is extreemly important. Even if the two had nothing in common, personal or business - as networkers we all should know they may very well know someone who could use your service. Always go above and beyond - Givers gain!