Building Influence through Inviting

One of my favorite ways to grow my network, stay in touch with people I like, help my friends and business associates, and to have more fun in my business is to “invite.”

Inviting is a natural part of the referral process. When you invite someone – whether it’s to a business networking event or a casual social – it strengthens the relationship.

What does NOT qualify as Inviting

Email – Email is a great tool to send out information and a great way to reach many people at once, but in my book, it doesn’t qualify as an actual invitation. Where’s the personal touch, that feeling that that person specifically thought of you and really wants you to be there? As colorful and fun as some email invitations can look, it doesn’t have that feeling you get when someone calls you on the phone or talks to you face to face and says, “I would love for you to be there. It won’t be the same without you there.” I will say this about email: it’s a great way to remind people and collect RSVPs.

Announcing – Here is another way I see people getting the word out about their event or party, announcing. Announcing themselves or having others announce for them. What I mean by announcing is that when at an event or with a group of people, someone announces that, “there’s a thing at this time in that location.” In many networking groups, board meetings, or mixers they give people an opportunity to make an announcement. Again, this is a great way to get the word out to more people in one shot, but it lacks the personal touch.

Posting on social media – Depending on the platform, posting on social media can be more personal, like posting on someone’s personal Facebook page, or it could be very general and generic, like posting on Twitter. No matter how personal you make it, it’s still a two dimensional way of getting the information out.

What Inviting really IS…

invitingInviting is when you talk to someone either voice to voice over the phone or face to face in person and personally ask if they would like to attend the event you’re inviting them to. It’s when you personally reach out to a specific someone and connect with them, one to one, to share about the event and why you think they would want to be there. It’s personal and it’s specific. You make them feel welcome and wanted.

When you invite someone to an event, use a layered approach…

Just like a layered referral, a layered invitation is a great way to get people to attend your event.

5 Steps to a Layered Invitation

To really make your guests feel welcome and wanted, follow these steps:

  1. Either face to face or over the phone, invite your guests personally.
  2. Send an electronic or paper invitation
  3. Follow up with a phone call or a face to face reminder
  4. Send an electronic reminder or confirmation
  5. Follow up with a phone call confirmation

If you would like to sprinkle in the email, social media and announcing, it will build more buzz for your event. Buzz is great, but doesn’t always get people to move to action. Follow these 5 steps and you will get the RSVPs and attendance you are really looking for!

-Maile Collmer

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