As I said in my last post, What's Wrong with Your Press Release, here's Stacy's "before" press release. Check it out and then read her "after" press release before sharing your comments. Networking With Wine: 5 Easy Tips to Turn a Wine Tasting Party into a Monthly Business Club
Temecula, CA, February 12, 2007 - - Creating your own wine tasting club can be a very powerful tool for business people who want to build their business with referrals and relationships.
When most people think of a business networking group, they think of business cards and handshaking, 10 second commercials and dry chicken.
When most people think of a wine tasting party, they think of getting together with a few friends and spending the evening together enjoying wine and good food.
Which do you prefer?
People refer business to people they know and like. Getting to know your referring partners and meeting with them regularly is the best method of building a great business relationship. This is why the best business groups meet regularly, either weekly or monthly.
Now imagine that instead of dressing in your business finest and passing out cards for a couple of painful hours, you were to toss on a pair of jeans, toss back some great wine, leave your cards in the car and still generate referrals?
The relaxed atmosphere of a wine tasting party makes the relationship building phase of networking painless. By meeting in each other’s homes instead of at a hotel or restaurant, you’ve just moved from business relationship to friend. Forming a wine tasting CLUB rather than just throwing an occasional party creates a consistent presence with one another to reinforce those relationships.
Tip 1: Invite Business People You Like
That seems like an obvious thing to say, but when building a social business network, personality actually weighs in more than occupation. You may know of a person who is a great potential business referral partner but they are just so boring. Don’t invite them. This may sound counter-intuitive but keep reminding yourself that an exciting group will generate more community interest than a stuffy one. If your club is fun, it will attract more dynamic business people. You’ll have people begging to come.
Tip 2: Write it off
We’re not tax professionals here, but if you are building a networking group that just happens to be called a wine tasting club, wouldn’t that qualify as a business expense? So go for the good cheese and some special napkins. You don’t have to make it a gourmet event (remember this is about relaxing with one another), but please skip the American cheese slices on Ritz crackers. These are business professionals you are inviting to your home and you want to leave them with a good impression. The wine will help a lot with that, but it doesn’t hurt to put in a little bit extra.
Tip 3: Pick a Day
Networking groups meet consistently because if the meeting date is always the same people can schedule ahead. This is no different. Meet for example the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 pm. It’s easier to remember and people get in the habit of coming so scheduling is never an issue.
Tip 4: Rotate Homes Every Month
We know as a dynamic business person you will want to have it at your home each and every month but it will pay off much better to rotate around each month. You see, every person in your group knows 5 other people that would love to come and odds are that they will invite those people when the party is at their home, giving you a much broader base of people to get to know and to network with. It adds a dynamic that a static party could not have. So at your first party set up an annual schedule with addresses so you can have a year of wine tasting parties that rotate from home to home. You can still be in control and get your name in front of these people by offering to send out the email reminders each month with the address of the party but you are not responsible for buying the good cheese all of the time.
Tip 5: Run it like a meeting
We don’t mean a stuffy meeting. But do start on time and do end on time, especially if you are meeting on a work night. Do keep to a certain format so the party is consistent no matter whose home you are at. The easiest way to keep the consistency is to buy a wine tasting party kit that has directions to follow and materials to use. There are a lot of kits out there but only one that helps set up a monthly club called, appropriately, The Wino Club. It can be found at http://www.thewinoclub.com/shopping1.html
. They also have a glossary of useful terms so you can sound intelligent and a monthly newsletter that everyone in your club can subscribe to.
One of the most significant changes in your referral relationships after starting a social networking club is you begin to form a tight circle of support. Friendships that are formed while drinking wine together are powerful in the world of business. Now not only do you have new people referring business to you, but you also start a deeply loyal circle of influence in your community.
Social networking with wine works. Try it this month and you’ll see the difference immediately.
For more FREE tips on starting your own Wine Tasting Club contact Stacy Nelson or visit www.thewinoclub.com
About the Author
Stacy Nelson, CSA has built a successful business as a Reverse Mortgage Specialist in Southern California through her networking efforts and 100% of her business comes from referral sources. In addition, to her career and her beautiful family she volunteers her time and money to a variety of charitable organizations including Hospice of the Valleys, Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Center and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She is proud to be a member of Rotary, an International Service Organization. As evidence to her commitment to share with others, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of The Wino Club™ is donated to Michelle’s Place, a breast cancer resource center for younger women in their often ignored fight.
The Wino Club