How to Make People Feel Welcome

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I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’m not a wallflower or a particularly shy person. When I join a group, I have no problem asking to meet each member for some one-to-one time so I can get to know them better. But it is easy for most people to feel overwhelmed when joining an established group, and feel unsure about how to get to know people, and make the most of their time.

I have seen new people join a group, only to leave soon thereafter. Some of these previous members have expressed to me in confidence they never quite felt like they were “one of the cool kids.” It’s a shame, really, because new members are the lifeblood of any organization. If you belong to any BNI, Chamber of Commerce, or other established organization that is focused on new membership, here’s what you can do to set yourself apart from the crowd, keep the members you have, and positively impact and retain new members.

While I don’t believe one person can do everything, I do believe every person can do something. The “something” I do is to make each new member feel like they have at least one person who [a] is looking out for them, [B] cares about them, and [C] is an advocate for them.  When a new person joins my group, I send them a handwritten note welcoming them. I ask if they would like to get together so I can learn more about them, what they do, and who they serve. I follow up with an email or a phone call a few days later, so we can schedule our first meeting.

During our first meeting, I ask lots of questions. I find out where they are from, why they decided to join the group, and ask lots of questions about their business. I’m curious to know who they serve, how they serve them, and what they need next-most in their business. If you do the same, I promise you will be among the minority of everyone they meet. Very few people take the time to dig beneath the surface and really get to know the new people in their group.

Finally, I send a second hand-written thanking them for their time.  All told, I have spent around an hour and a half but I have really made a huge impact.  That’s not a whole lot of time for all of the goodness that could come out of it. It’s up to you to make a difference, and only you can make the difference you can make! Take the time and make a new person feel welcome today.

Learn more about the art of relationships and networking in my new book, Business Dating: Applying Relationship Rules in Business for Ultimate Success.

I am on a mission to inspire and motivate people to turn their vision and dreams into their real-life reality, sharing leading-edge processes I’ve created for myself and my executive coaching clients. I write about business growth and personal development, including shedding limiting beliefs, dreaming big and living the life you truly want. If you enjoyed this article, then join my free newsletter and you’ll get a free copy of my best-selling book Tall Order! 7 Master Strategies to Organize Your Life & Double Your Success in Half the Time.