Policies and Guidelines
Our success as a Group and as individual Members rests on our mutual adherence to these Policies and Guidelines. We are all here to grow our network and our respective businesses.
PARTICIPATING AS A MEMBER IN THE GROUP
Show up regularly and on time. Focus on the Group and participate respectfully. The Group meets weekly on Wednesdays from September to June, and every other Wednesday in July and August.
Attendance is key. Members may miss up to three (3) meetings per quarter and for at least one (1) of those meetings they must have an appropriate Substitute.
If you will be absent, please email the Group using the Google Groups email address and share the name of your sub if you have one (unless it is a personal matter, then you may email only President and the Meeting Facilitator).
In the event a member is absent more than three (3) times in a particular quarter with or without their required substitute, that member will be sent an attendance warning and be put into review pending decision by the executive committee. That decision, determined by vote, will decide whether or not that member will be retained by the group. All funds for group membership are non-refundable.
Substitutes may be someone from another industry or profession not already represented in the membership, or a colleague from the Member’s company. Subbing is a great way for potential new members to visit the group. If a Member’s sub is from another industry they will present the Member’s 30-second commercial during the initial round, and then may share their own 30-second commercial at the end of the round.
Former members whose industry or profession is already represented in the membership may not be subs unless they are a current colleague from the Member’s company. Former Prospective Members whose applications were not approved may not be subs. If a Member is not sure if their potential sub has applied to the Group unsuccessfully, they should ask the Membership Coordinator.
A Substitute may not sub for any Member more than once per quarter, unless they are from
that same Member’s company. To clarify:
- If a Member uses a sub from another industry or profession for more than one absence in a quarter, they may not use the same sub for each absence that quarter.
- If a Member uses a sub from their own company for more than one absence in a quarter, they may use the same sub for each absence that quarter.
Attending a meeting as a Substitute does not count as a Visit in terms of the two allowable Visits by potential new Members.
Meeting Cancellations: If Wallingford Public Schools are closed or delayed for weather, our meeting is cancelled. You can sign up for Wallingford Public School closing alerts on any of the Connecticut TV station websites. Here is a link for NBC30 text and email alerts: http://bit.ly/ NBC30snow.
Likewise, we do not meet if a major holiday such as July 4, Christmas, etc. fall on our regular meeting day. In the event the meeting is conducted via Zoom, regardless of school system cancellation, the meeting will be held at its normal time.
Come prepared. Know your 30-second commercial and share with the Group 1) who you are (name and company name), 2) what you do, and 3) who is a good referral for you this week. We are here to remind each other, weekly, exactly what we do, so that we may help each other with accurate referrals. The more specific you can be, the more referrals you’ll receive.
Make a list of any recent referrals and testimonials you want to share. Share each of these during the appropriate time of the meeting. Do not “steal” from your neighbor’s 30 second commercial time by including your referrals, testimonials, or other announcements or commentary.
Stay in your lane. If you joined the Group representing a specific industry or profession and you also work in other industries or professions, you may not promote those secondary industries or professions to the Group, even if there is no other member in that industry or profession in the Group. This leaves the door open for other new members to join.
If you wish to switch your industry or profession to one that is different from the one you identified when you joined, or you wish to purchase an additional membership to represent a secondary industry or profession, please submit your request in writing to the Membership Coordinator.
Review the Agenda when you receive it by email so you are prepared for the meeting. Of particular note is the schedule of which Members will be giving the five- and ten-minute presentations at the current and next two meetings. If your turn is coming up, you will want to be prepared.
The five-minute presentation is on a non-industry-specific business or marketing topic that will benefit all in attendance. For example, protecting computer passwords, or perfecting one’s 30-second commercial.
The ten-minute presentation is an opportunity to go beyond the weekly 30 seconds. Group Members in good standing present a 10-minute commercial about their business on a rotating basis.
Meet with members individually. We draw cards monthly so we each get two (2) one-to-one meetings a month. Don’t cheat yourself or another Member the opportunity to discuss your respective businesses at length. Having a better understanding of other Members’ businesses is key to providing good referrals, and vice versa.
Do not expect to receive referrals right away. It takes time for Members to get to know you and your business enough to feel comfortable giving referrals.
Follow up. If someone gives you a referral, treat it like gold. You want to be sure that you follow up on it right away. Keep the Member who referred you apprised of the status of your communications. It takes time to build relationships with the people in any referral group. Don’t destroy that trust by failing to take a referral seriously.
Log all Referrals and Closed Business. Use the appropriate channels (send an email or fill out a referral slip and submit to the Member in charge of Referral Tracking) to report all Referrals Out to and Closed Business from other Group Members. Closed business includes one-time transactions as well as repeated engagements. For example, if the new customer who was referred to you purchases a three-month package and then renews with a six-month package, that counts as two pieces of Closed Business. Likewise, if the customer renews their engagement with you year after year, each year counts as Closed Business.
Don’t give blind introductions. No one wants an introduction to a professional they are not looking for at this time. Check with your clients, contacts and associates first. Are they open to you giving their names and contact information to your Group members for blind introductions? Try to avoid awkward situations by gently asking each party if they are interested before making the introduction.
Consider the Group members as resources for yourself and your contacts and clients, even for referrals outside the core Group. If you or a client has a particular need, poll the Group for a referral they know, like, and trust. For example, if your client needs a housepainter and you don’t know one, ask members of the Group for a personal referral and then ask your client to
let the painter know who exactly referred them.
Don’t spam. It is bad form to automatically add Group members and meeting visitors to your email newsletter lists, etc. without asking first. Discourage your subs and visitors from doing this.
Boost each other. Like, comment, and share each other’s business posts on social media, especially LinkedIn. If you have personally used a Group member’s services, give them a Review on Google, Yelp, or Facebook, and a Recommendation on LinkedIn.
Boost the Group. Like, comment, and share Nutmeg posts on social media, especially the ones for Visitor Days and Socials. RSVP to Group meetings on Meetup and events on all platforms so that attendance looks robust to potential visitors.
- Facebook and Instagram: @nutmegstatenetworking
- LinkedIn: Nutmeg State Networking Group
- Meetup, Eventbrite, and Empower Business: Nutmeg State Networking
- Website: nutmegstatenetworkinggroup.com
Termination: We reserve the right, that If the Executive Committee determines in good faith that a group member no longer qualifies as a member in good standing of Nutmeg State Networking, to revoke membership in the group.
Members are encouraged to bring Visitors to up to two (2) open meetings and unlimited social events, and to promote attendance by Visitors to their personal networks. Additionally, the Group will promote attendance by Visitors on social media.
JOINING THE GROUP
Visiting: Prospective Members may attend as a Visitor up to two (2) times before submitting an application to join. Once the application is submitted, Visitors may not attend again (even as a sub) until their Membership has been approved by a majority of the Group’s Members.
Professions: Prospective Members may not sign up for an industry or profession that is already represented in the Group by a Member in Good Standing.
Prospective Members who apply to join the Group representing a specific industry or profession but who also practice other professions may not promote those secondary professions to the Group, even if there is no other member in that industry or profession in the Group. This leaves the door open for other new members to join. If a Member wishes to switch their industry or profession from the one used when they applied, or purchase an additional membership to represent a secondary industry or profession, they must submit a written request to the Membership Coordinator.
Applying: Prospective Members will be given a copy of the Member Guidelines and Policies to review and an application to complete and submit.
Timeline and Fees: Membership Applications are submitted in writing with a $50.00 Application Fee, payable by check to “Nutmeg State Networking Group”. The check will not be cashed until the Prospective Member’s application is approved and the Prospective Member has been notified of same. If the Prospective Member is not approved by the Group, their application check will be returned or voided.
Please allow up to ten (10) days for the Application to be vetted and voted on by a quorum of Members, and for the Membership team to notify you regarding the status of Membership. Once a new Member is approved to join the Group:
- They will be given the Member Pledge to sign.
- They should submit their annual dues of $200.00 by check payable to “Nutmeg State Networking Group”.
- They will be added to the Member List that is distributed with the Agenda, using the profession and contact info they shared on their Application.
- Their headshot, name, company, and LinkedIn profile URL will be added to the Group website nutmegstatenetworkinggroup.com.
- They will be invited to join the private Google Group used for group email communications.
- They should Connect with all other members via LinkedIn.
- They should add all Members to their phone Contacts for ease of referring.
- They should Like/Follow the Group’s business pages on Facebook, Instagram, Meetup, and LinkedIn.
- They should use the appropriate channels to report all Referrals Out to and Closed Business from other Group Members.
I hereby pledge:
- I have read and accept the Nutmeg State Networking Group Policies and Guidelines regarding my participation in the Group and its activities.
- I am here to succeed, and to help my fellow Members and the Group succeed.
- I will be an active Member, in Good Standing with my attendance and dues.
- I will promote only the industry or profession I signed up to represent.
- I will prepare for and participate in meetings, one-to-ones, and activities regularly, and
with respect for my fellow Members’ opinions.
- I will give warm, mindful referrals and legitimate business prospects to my fellow
Member whose business most appropriately meets my prospect’s requirements.
- I will use the appropriate channels to report all Referrals Out to and Closed Business
from my fellow Members.
- I will invite appropriate Visitors to attend meetings and events so that the Group, and
our respective businesses, may grow.
- I understand that disregard for this pledge or violation of the Group’s Policies and
Guidelines are grounds for removal from the Group.