Action Group & Reading Group Guidelines
The GET CLIENTS NOW! book was written with action groups and reading groups in mind. The 28-day program outlined in the book is ideal for use by a group of independent professionals working together, and the book has been adopted as a text by entrepreneurial support groups located around the world.
The typical reading group who chooses GET CLIENTS NOW! will not just discuss the book’s content, but also work together to complete the exercises and put the 28-day program into action. In the book, I refer to these teams as “action groups.” The book uses a cookbook approach to help readers create a customized sales and marketing plan. Here’s how to use the book with your reading group, action group, mastermind group, success team, or business buddy to get the most benefit:
- Form a group or team of 2-12 members who are willing to meet on a weekly basis for at least six weeks. Group members should be ready to engage in marketing their business, not just thinking about it. Any group of self-employed professionals, service business owners, independent agents, or professional services salespeople can form a group. Members don’t have to be in the same industry, and sometimes it’s better if they aren’t. You will be surprised at how much a freelance technical writer can contribute to a financial adviser and vice versa.
- Many groups meet in person, but busy professionals can also meet by telephone. Virtual groups use three-way calling or free teleconferencing services to schedule phone meetings. (Search the web for “free conference call.” Conferencing is free, but you may need to pay long distance charges from your location.) Weekly in-person meetings should last 60-90 minutes, or members can meet twice per week for 20-30 minutes by phone.
- Before your first meeting, suggest that all members read Chapters 1-3 and complete the first half of the Action Plan Worksheet on page 45 [3rd ed], 44 [2nd ed], or 33 [1st ed]. (Copies of the worksheet can be made from the book or downloaded here.)
- At your first meeting, members should introduce themselves and share the contents of their worksheets so far: what type of business they are marketing, their goal for the 28 days of the program, where they are feeling stuck in their marketing, and what marketing strategies they intend to use.
- Each member should ask the others for any feedback, perspective, resources, or support they need to be successful in designing and implementing their program. This should take place at every meeting, giving members the opportunity to provide advice, leads and ideas to each other.
- Before the second meeting, members should read Chapters 4-5 and finish filling out the Action Plan Worksheet.
- At the second meeting, each member should share the design of his or her personal 28-day program, including one to three Success Ingredients, ten Daily Actions, and a Special Permission. (These elements are all described in the book.) At the end of this meeting, each member should set a specific date to begin his or her program.
- After this meeting, each member should read the introduction to Chapter 6, and complete the first column of the Tracking Worksheet from page 103 [3rd ed], 102 [2nd ed], or 89 [1st ed]. Then they’ll be ready to start implementing their personal action plan on a daily basis.
- Before each subsequent meeting, members should read the daily entries in Chapter 6 that correspond to where they are in the program, typically Days 1-7 before the third meeting, Days 8-14 before the fourth meeting, etc.
- At each weekly meeting, every member should report on his or her marketing progress, using the Tracking Worksheet as a guide. These reports should be concise, so that each member has a chance to check in every week. A useful approach for check-in reports is to summarize just the results on the worksheet without telling the story behind each one.
- Members should hold each other accountable, noting when other members are not moving forward and reminding them of their stated intentions. A key benefit of working the program together is the “benevolent peer pressure” provided by the group. Gentle reminders and queries are more effective than scolding one another. For example, members might ask each other: “What got in the way of completing your daily actions this week?” or “How can we help you move toward your goal?”
- After the check-ins, members can discuss challenges, celebrate successes, ask questions of each other, share leads and resources, brainstorm ideas, or ask for and offer support. Chapter 6 and the marketing “recipes” in Chapters 7-10 provide many solutions to specific problems members might encounter.
- At the final meeting, members should celebrate each other’s progress or success in the program, and discuss what they have learned over the past 28 days.
- The program is designed so it can be used over and over. Any members who wish to continue working together should schedule another four weekly meetings and begin the program again. Typically, members choose to revise the design of their 28-day program before beginning a new one, so they should do so before the group next meets.
While it’s not necessary for a GET CLIENTS NOW! group to have a designated leader, it can be helpful to have members take turns at facilitating. The facilitator can make sure that everyone has enough time to check in and that no one member dominates the discussion.
Some groups also hold mini-workshops at their meetings, taking turns to present a tool or technique from the extensive collection of sales and marketing how-to’s in Chapters 7-10.
Whatever format your group chooses, remember that the key ingredients for success with the GET CLIENTS NOW! program are action, accountability, and peer support. By working together to help each other, everyone will benefit.
Note: These guidelines are provided as a free service to readers who wish to work through the book together as peers. If you wish to lead GET CLIENTS NOW! programs where participants are charged a fee to attend, you’ll need to become a licensed facilitator.
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