“Hi. As Anne said, I’m David, member manager for Netgain. My role is to guide you through the initial stages of membership should you choose to join”
David came across in a ‘best teacher you never had’ kind of way. Not salesy or pushy, more of an honest broker trying to make sure you felt comfortable and ready for the great opportunity Netgain membership offered. In his late twenties, there was nothing not to like about David. He’d adopted the hipster look. Well, it did say on his business card that he was a branding consultant and the male grooming magazine he poured over every month said people in his profession at his age, were mainly hipsters.
“If you were not aware, the first step for new members is our New Member Weekend. We invite you to a country hotel for the weekend for full training, introductions and awareness of how we help you and your business succeed through Netgain. We provide this free of charge for all new members”
If there were any of guests sitting on the fence at this point, that last point converted them. It worked every time. They'd tried other things, but the simplicity of a free weekend away lowered the newbie guard for the next phase.
Sometimes guests worried their business wouldn't be suitable for Netgain. This fear had been engineered out of the process by tailoring the weekly show towards the guest profiles in attendance. The show gave the impression that guest businesses were in high demand from big spending, high profile connections of Netgain. All this was interweaved into an irresistible fairy story so well played by Joseph. Netgain knew other business networking clubs were full of awkwardness, cliques and dysfunctional behaviour geared towards protection of contacts and allocating business to favoured members.
Despite that definition, that’s what people wanted....their slice...
Netgain played on this dynamic. All the guests needed to do was join a group that ‘needed’ them and start doing new business straight away. Yet, that’s what all the networks said to some degree. What they all didn't say was success was down to other things new members didn't want to hear.
David had been round them all and the free weekend was his simple idea that meant the sale funnel that started with an invite to a Friday meeting, ended quickly at that first meeting with sign-up. He put it down to his irresistible offer. Others in the management team put it down to careful selection of guests. He preferred his view and enjoyed that he’d nailed the unique sales proposition, a term he learned on his university course Lorraine sponsored.
Lorraine met David at a café he worked at in the summer holidays before starting university. They got chatting and he told her about the pressure from his parents to study what they wanted. She had no children and saw something special in David. She returned to the café many times over the following weeks and eventually proposed to sponsor him to take the Cardiff university course he preferred in return for doing a part time internship at Netgain.
She was his saviour. He loved living in Cardiff and no other student job paid anything like Lorraine was talking about. She knew he had a streak of laziness, but could see a future heir with a bit of mentoring. His parents eventually accepted his decision, especially with a guaranteed job after graduation. That support disappeared at his graduation party...we'll get to that.
“Ok, we run the New Member Weekend once a month. The next one is next weekend. There is room for all of you to join us then or go on the list for the next one”
David talked the guests through the schedule, vacancies remaining and reminded them that Netgain had booked the whole hotel for the weekend. He even played a little slow motion video of the hotel facilities on his iPad. This final unveiling left the guests ready to sign anything.
The 100% signup record was maintained for another week.