There can be many distractions at leads group meetings. People can be having side conversations, the room could be too crowded, the speaker may speak to low, the room temperature could be uncomfortable, and then there are the eating meetings.

What's the eating meeting? Every leads group meeting I have ever been to has required some sort of meal purchase. There are some groups who don't, but many do the early morning breakfast or lunch eating meeting. At first one might think this is no big deal, after all one has to eat. On the surface it may not seem like a big deal, but lets explore some of the pitfalls of eating meetings.

1. The obvious - more money out of your pocket to belong to a leads group. Yes, you do need to figure this into your investment cost. If your group meets every week, that could be $10 a week or $40 a month. Most who are serious about building their business and have joined a leads group have the extra $40 a month to buy themselves a meal. But, are you figuring that into your cost for that group and when you look at your time and money, is the ROI there?

2. Interruptions - eating meetings are huge interruptions. The server takes the orders, brings the beverages, serves the meals, refills drinks, clears the dishes and finally brings each person their bill. Back and forth, back and forth goes the server.

3. Distractions - Eating in itself is a distraction. Concentration should be on the speaker, not eating a meal. What happens if your meal is cold and then you are watching for the server to come by to get it fixed? What if your neighbor's dish was made wrong and she complains to you about how this always happens to her? The person directly across from you is waving down the server because she needs a coffee refill. All these seemingly little things breaks your concentration and limits what you actually hear.

4. Time waster - Yes, having to hold meetings in restaurants is a time waster. You have to allow time for ordering, eating and paying the bill at the end.

5. Sets a more social tone than professional business tone. Don't get me wrong, I love being social, but I believe you attract what you put out there. So, if you are putting out a social vibe to your meetings, you will attract people who want to be socializers. If you are putting out a professional feel to your meetings, you will attract people who are serious about learning and growing their business. Eating can be considered a social activity.

When you are looking for a leads group, consider investing in the "No Eating Meetings". That's not to say you can't bring your travel mug of coffee or the host won't surprise the group with special treats from time to time. Just stay away from inefficiently run restaurant meetings if your goal is to concentrate, connect and create new business opportunities. At SHE Leads Groups we do everything possible to avoid ever having a meeting in a restaurant. Most of our meeting room space is donated by a member in the group. See other ways how SHE Leads Group is different from other leads groups.

About the author

Beth Boen, Founder of SHE Leads Group

Beth Boen has more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service. She is an award-winning marketer. She is also a professional trainer and customer experience consultant. Beth loves helping people build long-term, loyal relationships that produce quality connections in their business that lead to lifetime customers and endless referrals. Beth helps people do this through her thoughtful blogs and training curriculum. Members of SHE Leads Group have access to more in-depth business development training through presentations at meetings from Beth, her curriculum, and guest trainers. In addition to being the Founder of SHE Leads Group, Beth has had a training and consulting business, The Voice Customer Experience, that she started in 2005.

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