Do I have to join to attend a meeting?

No not at all. You are most welcome to come along to a meeting twice as a guest and see if it is for you. The dynamics, members, meeting locations and times are different for each group so it might be that you visit more than one group that has an opening for your profession before deciding which one to join.

Can I join or visit any group?

You are most welcome to visit a group where we don’t already have your profession or industry. The groups have one person per profession/industry but please contact us to see if we think there is a place for you in a particular group that you might be interested in. Eg: each group doesn’t just have a “lawyer”, as this profession can be split across a family lawyer, property lawyer, employment and intellectual property as an example

What if someone wants to join my group in my profession/industry?

Our loyalty is always to our existing members, so if we have an application or an expression to visit from a profession that might clash with an existing member, then the Chairman will discuss this with the existing member to see if there is a way for you to both belong and promote different services. We encourage a ‘coffee’ to be organised between the member and the prospective member to see if there is a way for you to promote different areas and to see if you would be able to refer to each other

Are the groups just made up of ‘professionals’?

We have a whole wide range of members from all professions and industries; right from the ‘usual suspects’ such as accountants, lawyers and financial advisers, right through to travel agents, importers, physios, plumbers, builders and we even used to even have a clairvoyant!

What does it cost to join?

The annual membership is $469 and is payable once you have been advised your application has been accepted. Fee is payable via direct credit, cheque or cash.

What term does my membership fee cover?

Membership is valid for a year from your joining date and is payable annually.

When does my membership expire?

All memberships are renewable annually from your joining date.

What is KRaC?

‘KRaC’ stands for Kudos, referrals and coffees. This is the last segment of each meeting and in lots of ways the purpose for joining! Each member gets a turn to speak and cover the following areas:

–    Kudos: Thanking those members that have given you exceptional referrals or service in their field, a chance to promote another member and endorse them
–    Referrals: What referrals you have for members in the group
–    Coffees: who have you met with since the last meeting, over a coffee/drink/lunch to discuss in more detail their profession/service/skills and vice versa.

KRaC is recorded each week and debriefed weekly and 6 monthly so there is a measurement of the business being passed between members.

What is a referral?

A referral is where you have spoken to a friend/family member/colleague/client about the service one of your fellow members can offer and have their agreement for you to pass on their details to the SoapBox member.  A referral is not a referral if you simply know of someone who might benefit from the service of a member, but you haven’t actually spoken to them.

What if I don’t have a referral for someone at every meeting?

You are not struck by lightning if you don’t have a referral at every meeting! But referrals and coffees are recorded at each meeting and it is important that you commit to a coffee with every member over time, so you can better learn what they do and who their ideal client is, so you can start to easily identify referrals for them in your day to day personal and business life. There is a direct correlation between the number of coffees you have with your fellow members, and the number of referrals you are able to give and therefore receive. The 1 minute presentations are not long enough to really learn and remember what each member does and what their ideal client looks like.

What does “Your Face is Your Place” mean?

In our terms and conditions it stats “Your Face is Your Place”. This simply means if you don’t attend meetings regularly then the group reserves the right to replace you with someone else who wants to join in your industry/profession.

This is never done without considerable consultation with you, as we are aware and acknowledge that it won’t always be possible to attend 100% of the meetings; children or you will get sick from time to time, work commitments may prevent you from attending that day, holidays and personal commitments that pop up that day are all understandable absences, but where there is no reason given for your absence, and this happens more than 4 times in a 6 month period, the group reserves the right to replace you. There is no refund of membership fees in this instance.

We don’t issue “formal warnings” or anything similar and degrading like other networking groups are known to do. We are all adults and sometimes other things come up, but for a group to not just survive but to prosper and grow together, membership and the relationships formed in that group are determined by regular attendance and being able to rely on certain numbers of members at each meeting. Especially if you are getting up in time to make a 7am meeting, or giving up precious work time at 9am!

What if I can’t make a meeting this week?

Please txt, email or call your Chairman before the meeting to advise you won’t be able to attend and if you are able to send a sub in your place?

What is a sub?

If you are unable to make a meeting, we would love you to send a sub in your place; this could be someone else in your business, a client or friend/family member who is able to stand up for 1 minute and speak about your business. They are there attending ‘as you’, so if they have a profession different to yours themselves, then it will be up to the Chairman of that meeting to decide if it is appropriate for them to also have 1 minute to speak. If your sub is from a different profession or industry to you, and they clash with an existing member’s profession then they won’t be given the chance to do a 1 minute presentation for themselves, out of respect to the other member.

Do the meetings run every week?

We have groups that meet weekly and fortnightly, please review the Groups tab to see when and where the groups meet. Our weekly meetings are at 7am and run for 90 minutes, our fortnightly meetings are held at 9am and run for 60-90 minutes, depending on the group size. The bigger the group the more likely the meeting will extend to 90 minutes at a fortnightly meeting, but not longer than that!

Do I have to have breakfast at the 7am meetings?

No – breakfast is not compulsory and you pay on the day for whatever you actually have. Many of our 7am meetings include a set menu of 5-6 choices for breakfast with a coffee/drink for a set fee payable at the cafe, usually $20.

What happens at the meetings?

Our Chairman runs the meeting and everyone gets 1 minute to stand-up and present themselves and their business, there is a 10 minute speaker at each meeting and a 5 minute “Tip of the Week”, which members can volunteer for and this can be about anything, it doesn’t have to be linked to your business or profession. We ask members to turn their phones off out of respect to everyone else and stick to the 1 minute time frame to speak. There is a prize each week for the best 1 minute presentation and this is chosen by last weeks winner.

Do I have to take my turn to do the 10 minute presentation?

Everyone gets a turn to do the 10 minute presentation and we encourage you to take your turn. This is your chance to have the entire group’s undivided attention for 10 minutes and to go into more detail as to what your business does, examples of your work, your ideal client, what an ideal referral looks like for you.
The Chairman will introduce you and nominate someone in the group to choose 3-5 questions from the “Intro Questions” to ask you; these are simply fun and interesting questions so the group gets to know you a bit better. Examples of these are:

–    What did you want to be when you grew up?
–    Favourite band/movie/restaurant/book
–    If you were a crayon what colour would you be?
–    Where did you grow up? Siblings?  Children?

If you can think of any you would like to add to the list (it’s pretty long) then that would be great as well!

Is a ‘coffee’ as self-explanatory as it sounds? Why is this important?

It’s very important to meet with every member of your group, for a coffee/drink/lunch/whatever, to meet and be able to learn in much better detail what the other member does, who they are looking for and how you can help find them referrals, and educate them at the same time about your business. There is a direct correlation to coffee’s had by our most successful members as to how many referrals they can give and receive.

Why do I only have 1 minute to speak?

Especially as the groups grow large (more than 20 people) it is imperative everyone sticks to the 1 minute time frame to speak, so as to give everyone a turn, but the aim is to not make sure you use every last second but get a succinct and clear message across as to what type of client or referral you want that week. Research shows people tune out anyway the longer you speak, and especially at 7am this can be a bit challenging (unless you are a morning person) so the more clear and concise your message the better.

Who gets a turn to be Chairman and how is this decided?

The Chairman role rotates every 6 months and the new Chairman is voted in by the group, in an anonymous email to Sarah. We will contact the potential new Chairman and offer them the role, they are not required to accept it, as we would always want the new Chairman to be happy with the role and happy to lead the group for 6 months.

Can I invite guests?

We would love you to invite guests and need you to talk to potential new members, in professions your group doesn’t have, about the SoapBox and invite them along to see if it’s for them.  If you have someone that would like to come along as a guest please email your Chairman and Sarah to let them know who the person is and what they do, so we can make sure they don’t clash with any existing members and your Chairman knows who to introduce as a guest at the meeting.

If you have someone you would like to invite along to the SoapBox, but your group doesn’t have a space for their profession/industry, then please email Sarah to see if there is a spot in another group, or check out the Groups Tab to see if there is a space available in another group.

How do I follow SoapBox on Social Media?

Follow us on Twitter (NZSoapBox) or LinkedIn (Your SoapBox).

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