Who cares what's for lunch when you know that by going, you have a good, or even a great opportunity to increase your business or to connect with a new client.
Recently, I had a conversation with one of our Gold Star Directors about his networking group changing the location where they meet for their weekly meeting. This would be the third location change in less than a year.
He said, "Joe's tired of the food and he's been eating before he comes and Doug says that it's a little further for him to drive than the last place. Frankly, I think the menu is limited. We have to find a new place."
In the world of business networking, complaints about meeting at the same place week after week is not uncommon.
However, when I consul with our Directors, I like to ask, "If you had thirty business people at every meeting and referrals were FLYING back and forth - would anyone care about the menu?"
And usually the answer is NO. Who cares about the food when there is real business happening?
So, you have to ask yourself then, "Is it a referral problem or a menu problem?"
Good business networking groups are not easy to find. When you find one that works - don't worry about the food.
The ideal situation would be to have a rockin' referral group that meets in a restaurant that has great parking, is easy to get to and has an affordable menu with food that everyone loves. But that is near impossible to put together, because you will never be able to find the perfect fit for everyone.
It is always a challenge.
As an exercise, you could do this. Print out a map of the area around where most of your members work and live. Now take a pencil and draw a circle around what is considered easy driving distance. How many choices do you have?
Sometimes, as a leader, you feel lucky to even find a place that is available - much less a great place that everyone likes.
So instead of changing venues, why not just grow your group so big with quality business people who are having fun passing good business to each other every week and quit worrying about the food.
Let's be real. It's all about the referrals. It's not about the food or an extra mile here or there. You may notice that the people who are getting the most business, never complain. They're smiling all the way to the bank.
The next time your group wants to change locations again, instead of moving right away, set a goal to double the size of your meeting with guests and new members. Once you outgrow your location - THEN find a new one.