How to Upgrade Your Club Membership

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What the heck do I mean about upgrading your “club membership?”

Am I talking about a golf club or country club membership?

No. I'm talking today about how to “upgrade” or best utilize your membership in a local inventor's group that meets each month. What if you haven't found a local inventor's group or club? Here is a link to find the nearest inventor's club where you live. Problem solved!

The reason I am writing this post today is, assuming you already belong to an inventor's club that meets every month, you probably aren't making the most of your membership. The analogy is someone who buys a membership to a fitness club and then only works out twice each year. You don't want to be that person!

So, then, how do you “upgrade” your membership?

Read on.

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Attend the next FREE live webinar – License Your Invention for Royalties. 

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Are you a “typical” inventor?

When you go to your monthly inventor's meeting, do you arrive 5 or 10 minutes before it starts? Do you sign in – and then just grab a seat and maybe help yourself to any information or materials that are provided? Do you listen carefully to the presenters and any special guests of the meeting, perhaps jot some notes to review later? Do you ask some questions during the meeting? Towards the end of the meeting, do you chat with a few members you've met before, then head for the door?

Congratulations! You are a typical inventor.

But, like most other typical inventors, you're not truly engaged with the group or even participating on a meaningful level.

You may feel good from the bonhomie of mingling with other inventors and getting some information, but you are truly missing out on the real value of an inventor's group.

Engage and be a good listener

Okay, let's rewind the video depiction of your last meeting and start over with a different script. Now your goal is to truly participate, to engage fully in the meeting.

How?

Start by arriving early, 30 minutes early if your schedule permits and the room is open then. Sign in and gather information, just as before, but set all of that info aside in your seat – and prepare to engage! You can read it later when you get home. 

Make it a point to meet everyone at the meeting, if possible. Walk up, introduce yourself and give a firm handshake. Then don't talk about yourself. Really? Yep.

Ask them open-ended questions to learn about them, their experiences and current situation.

Try questions like these to break the ice:

  1. How long have you been a member here?
  2. What do you like most about this group?
  3. Can you tell me just a bit about your invention?
  4. What is your biggest challenge? Where do you need help right now?

Of course, you can ask many other questions, but the above are a great place to start.

Regarding 3 above, always assure them that you don't want them to tell you anything proprietary about their product.

Suggest they talk about their product only in a general way, like, “I have a new tool for mechanics that allows them to change spark plugs quickly and easily.” This describes key benefits but does not reveal anything proprietary.

Likewise, you should talk about your product in a similar way. Most inventors have a huge (largely irrational) fear that other inventors are going to steal their idea. While another inventor stealing your idea is extremely unlikely, describing it generally by its key benefits prevents any such risk from occurring.

So, simply put, engage with everyone and be a good listener. 

Guess what? If you show a genuine interest in a person and ask them about themselves first, rather than talking about yourself – they will likewise be interested in you.

They will reciprocate and begin to ask you questions about your invention, circumstances, and key challenges. Give it a try, you'll be amazed how well it works. If you really listen to people and ask follow up questions, everyone will comment on what a great “conversationalist” you are!

First offer to help, then ask for help

So many people get this backwards.

You barely meet a person and the next words out of his mouth are, “I really need help with prototyping. Do you know someone who can help me?”

How anxious are you to help this person? Not very. It is all about them, not about you or anyone else. Don't be that person!

You may ask, “How can I help anyone?”

If you are new to inventing and just getting started, you may feel you have nothing of value to offer to others. But, you do have valuable info to offer to others. Often your value may be to simply serve as a “connector” to someone else in the group that can help them with their current challenge.

“I was just talking to John Smith and he is starting to manufacture in China. I bet he can give you some advice and help for your product.” 

At other times, just sharing your experiences and inventive journey, may give them an idea they might not have considered otherwise. Offer to exchange business cards (if you have them) or put their contact information in your phone.

What happens next is magical

Very soon, you will have met most of the members and visitors. You will have a good sense of who is working on what, what are their current challenges, and what have they learned along the way.

By offering to help them first, they will be very open to helping you in any way they can. When you upgrade your membership, every meeting is more fun, interesting, and beneficial. Also, the more people you really engage with and talk to with meaningful conversations, the more you will learn.

Stay tuned. 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Would you like to learn how to better engage with others? It helps with personal and business conversations.

Grab your FREE copy of – How to Engage with Others – cheat sheet now. Just click on the blue button below to get your copy now.

Would you like to learn how to make money from your invention? Tired of just spending money?

Attend the next FREE live webinar – License Your Invention for Royalties. 

All you need is your cell phone, laptop or desktop computer to attend this LIVE webinar. Get all your questions answered.

Just click on the orange button below to sign up for the next FREE live webinar –  License Your Invention for Royalties.

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