Payment in kind

 It is sometimes suggested that when an individual passes a lead to a fellow member of a networking group, they should be entitled to a ‘cut’ of the profits or an introducer’s fee, to give the concept a slightly more respectable name. We would emphatically say that this is not the point of networking at all and indeed, the very idea risks ruining everything that clubs work to achieve.

 Of course, there are some people who do pay ‘commission’ on concluded sales and if they really want to, then we suppose we can’t stop them but this isn’t really what any of us are in it for and it goes against our philosophy altogether.

The intention of everything we do is to help each member gain ‘more business for their business’ and it’s very definitely not to allow another member to make a profit out of someone else’s business! The whole thing is based on trust and of course, this also extends to the person who is in effect the ‘lead’ as they will expect to receive not only the best quality service, good workmanship or an excellent product (or in some cases, both) but also, of course, the best value for money. If the service provider has to build in an additional profit for someone else, that is not going to make the price very competitive.

Now consider what would happen if everyone in the group tried to do this. The point would quickly be reached when twenty to thirty professionals and tradesmen have to run around locally charging extra money to all their customers and the club itself ends up with a bad reputation for overcharging which would eventually result in all leads drying up completely.

When you join an exclusive membership organisation, you are effectively securing your membership in order to gain access to the members and to their clients, contacts and perhaps even their family and friends. You don’t want to be sending your colleagues off knowing that they need to weight their quote and risk losing the business or alienating somebody you need to remain on good terms with.

The concept to remember is that one of your duties as a member is to refer opportunities to your fellow members and your reward for that is that they are going to do the same for you in return. It’s all about mutual assistance and not at all concerned with trying to make a killing without having to do anything much yourself! Remember that networking relationships are all built on trust between the members of each club and these are developed by working together and having a full knowledge of all the businesses represented round the table.

Now there may be an occasion when someone works particularly hard to bring in a lead which results in a significant piece of business for you which may be worth a lot of money. Naturally, you will want to show your appreciation in some tangible way. What better solution to that is there than finding them a really worthwhile opportunity?