Summit Global Network
A colleague, Phil Symchych in Canada, suggested at a program in London that I consider forming a global consortium of companies—not individuals—which would help each other with references, referrals, opportunities, best practices, non-proprietary methodologies, and credibility worldwide. I asked everyone present what they thought, and to a person they were highly supportive.
What is this?
Companies would be members of the Summit Global Network (SGN), not individuals. However, solo practitioners who work with a company structure would also be welcomed. The intent is to provide more credibility to any member company by enabling it to immediately refer to its global network of resources, from which talent, expertise, experiences, technology, and intellectual property can readily be exchanged.
This permits, if desired, work with existing clients beyond one’s current expertise, as well as the potential to enter new markets and new clients. I also believe that membership, since limited (see below), would enhance a firm’s value, attracting investors, and adding to equity and exit strategies. The membership would be transferable to new owners, and could enhance investment, licensees, franchising, etc.
Who is eligible?
We agreed on some criteria in London. To qualify for entry, a firm’s principal would have to be involved in my communities and with me in one or more of the following manners:
- Member of the Mentor Hall of Fame
- Member of the Million Dollar Club
- Member of the Mentor Mastery Program
- Graduate of the Million Dollar Consulting® Program and Grad School
I would exercise final judgment on approvals. For example, a member of the Million Dollar Consulting® Hall of Fame who is not active in the general community and/or who is struggling financially might not be accepted; similarly, a Consulting College and Grad School alumnus who is semi-retired would not be accepted. I intend to vet each individual applicant. I would also accept nominations from members of SGN who would bring added value to the community, leading to an admissions committee soon after we have critical mass, and that group would vote on all future applicants.
What are the features and benefits?
Some things are immediate, some will take a while. But here’s my thinking, stimulated by the London group:
- Specially designed icon and link to web pages which will contain the photo, name, company description, company history, links, etc. There will be promotional copy about the power of the worldwide talent (e.g., numbers of commercial books published—probably over 100, numbers of articles printed, list of over a thousand clients—I have about 400 alone—testimonials, speaking engagements, accolades won, etc.).
- Marketing to the general business community internationally, using both marketing gravity and viral marketing, with value constantly added to the home web site.
- Virtually no competition. I’m not consulting any longer with rare exception, and I will take none of the leads or inquiries unless one of you specifically asks me to help in one of your projects. Nor will members compete directly.
- Press releases that recognize and mention the various members on a monthly basis.
- The ability to immediately work with existing global clients more widely (including in other languages), be introduced into new global markets (or even domestic ones), and a collaboration with peers at your own level of success.
Participation in world class events, e.g.:
- We will host an international symposium once or twice a year in various global locations. Each member will have X number of invitations. (We could do one for large businesses, small businesses, professional service providers, etc.) Every member would have Y seats, and you could either invite clients and prospects who would pay their own way, or you could “sponsor” key clients by paying their registration fees.
- We will provide multi-media business development help from global experts that can be subscribed to or provided by you as additional value from your firm.
- We will bestow an annual award or awards, voted on by our own members, in several categories, i.e., Best Sustainable Organization; World Class Leadership; Best Customer Service; etc. You could ask your own clients to participate in terms of influencing your vote. We would video tape this for use on your site and with the media.
- We will publish a monthly electronic newsletter on revolving topics: business growth, technology, strategy, and so forth.
You get the idea. You’ll be part of a global center of interest and expertise.
- An increased valuation to your firm, a sort of “seal of approval” combined with an incredible network of talents who are known to each other, have undergone similar experiences, and who trust each other.
- International events hosted solely for the principals of the member firms. These will include activities geared to our own business development, as well as recreation and other opportunities. We will use guest speakers at these events, as well.
This will not be a legal entity, in that firms will simply be members of the coalition. There are no contracts, no obligations. You may be a relatively passive member of SGN or a very active one, seeking partnerships and participation. You may drop out without penalty, and you may reapply at a later date.
How does one become a member?
If you meet the general criteria above, you and I will talk about membership, so that I can learn what’s in your best interests and be assured that our expectations are in line. If so, we’ll proceed with my approval until such time as the membership committee is formed.
The fee will be fixed per year or per quarter as floowed.
- Membership: $9,500 paid quarterly ($2,375)
- Paid annually: $8,500
There are no other charges, fees, or expense reimbursements, except for meetings and symposia which will require a fee from either your clients or you. There will be no referral fees or commissions required in the network, unless you make situational agreements with your colleagues. Personally, I will not be involved in any such commissions or royalties, and any leads or inquiries received by me will simply be forwarded to the network. I will accept no referral or finder's fees at any time.
What happens next?
We have trademark clearance and we are setting up the logistics for web site, press releases, and so on. We have an early interest that indicates we can achieve critical mass with this "official" launch. We will build on the web site as we grow, using members' intellectual property and promotional material.
This program would not work with 1,000 members, since exclusivity is required to demonstrate the quality of the network. My goal is a critical mass of a dozen or mroe companies beginning on August 1, with one or two added periodically thereafter, and perhaps a grand total of 40 (being sure we represent all parts of the globe and non-competing).
Remember that the charter member fee is fixed for the duration of continuous membership.
I want to thank Phil for his leadership in this effort, and also Guido Quelle, Libby Wagner, Stuart Cross, and Chad Barr for their avid support and ideas.
Please give me a call or drop me a line if you’d like to proceed, chat, or have suggestions.
Contact me: Alan@summitconsulting.com; 800/766-7935 (401/884-2778); fax 401/884-5068.