I joined Provisors less than 2 months ago and I’m already convinced that it will be the best thing I’ve ever done professionally.
Provisors, for the uninitiated, is a business networking group that brings together a broad mix of professional service providers who are looking to share business resources and referrals. The organization is a particularly fertile referral ground for lawyers and accountants. But I have also met bankers, financial planners, marketing professionals, management consultants, IP consultants, etc. Many of them are not individuals who might be my clients or my candidates. But most of them are connected in some way to the people with whom I want to do business. Also, I feel like there are many ways that I can be helpful to members of the group.
There are many great things about the Provisors. One of the best things about the organization is that the culture completely reinforces all the right behaviors for building your business relationships.
The mantra of Provisors is Know, Like, Trust, Refer. At each meeting you have many opportunities to get to know people and you have lots of opportunities to introduce yourself. The meetings include “needs, deals, wants” where people ask for introductions to people they want to meet and “testimonials” where members of the group thank each other for referrals. Each time you stand up, you give your name, affiliation and tagline.
In other words, at Provisors, you are constantly fine tuning your messaging and getting immediate feedback. There are also summary profiles that are distributed before each meeting and this also gives you a chance to experiment with the most effective way to position yourself in a bio, on a website or anywhere your profile appears.
Recently, I was listening to a podcast on how to make change in yourself. One of the guests on the show emphasized that it is particularly effective to join a group where the cultural norm is the behavior you are trying to adopt.
If you are trying to learn how to be more effective at networking, Provisors is the place to do that! It’s a little pricey. But one good referral will pay for membership for several years. Contact Shep Becker for more information about the groups in the Boston area (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’m also happy to share what I know.