Join us at our weekly membership meeting, as our guest, and explore the way the chapter works. You will be introduced to the membership by the Board and will have a minute to tell everyone about yourself and your business. Bring plenty of business cards, as you will be able to participate in our card and tips exchange. Also, while attending our meeting as a guest, enjoy a complimentary breakfast on us. We encourage a no pressure, no expectation atmosphere. Feel free to stay and network with the membership and seek a Board member for further information on joining the group. Membership is open to qualified categories and businesses only.
For the past 22 years, every Wednesday morning at 7:31 a.m., hungry business people file into the Montclair House Grill on Church Street, in Montclair. They are not hungry for food; they are hungry for business. The group, LeTip of West Essex, is one of 525 such groups throughout the United States and in Canada that meets once a week to exchange qualified business leads, build business relationships, develop strong presentation skills and become proficient networkers. The members come from all over New Jersey.
Only one representative of any given profession is accepted into a chapter. There are no conflicts of interest. “It makes sense,” said Adriana O’Toole, real estate agent at Village Square. “If we allowed three accountants into our chapter, they’d be fighting for business. We try to pick the best person of a given profession and vote that person into our chapter.” It’s a rules-driven organization, as spelled out in the bylaws, which originate from the headquarters, LeTip International, Inc., in San Diego, CA. Members are expected to provide at least four qualified business leads per month to fellow members. If they do not meet this obligation-- as well as attendance requirements and business ethics requirements--they will be asked to leave the group. “By qualified, we mean that you have spoken to someone who needs a product or service within our group. You have essentially warmed up that business lead for a fellow member, and passed that business lead onto the appropriate member. It’s then up to the member to follow-up,” said O’Toole.
LeTip of West Essex incorporated on June 23, 1994, with just ten members. Today the group fluctuates between 30 and 40 members and passes over 200 business leads each month. “We are always looking for new members,” said Stephen Blackman, a past president and longtime Le Tip member. “There is no doubt that the group has been a boon to many of the business people who have joined.” LeTip of West Essex boasts many different business categories, from a plastic surgeon to a computer specialist, a fine jewelry dealer to a custom window and door broker. “We have a trust and estates attorney, a real estate attorney, and a family law attorney. We recently voted in a handyman and a custom clothier,” said O’Toole. “Our categories are diverse, but each of those people brings a network of people who become potential customers for members of our group.”
While the parent company, LeTip International, Inc., is a for-profit company, the individual chapters are all non-profits. Members are subject to pay dues which cover the costs of operations. “If you are an eager business person, and bring business into the group, you will recover your dues in no time through the business you receive. From there it’s pure profit,” said Blackman. “Where else are you going to find a dedicated sales staff of 30-some people? I sure can’t go out and hire that many people for my business,” Blackman, whose business is credit card/merchant services, added. Each week, three members are chosen to speak about their specific product or service. Other members are chosen to showcase their products and services. “We don’t allow outside speakers. We want to learn as much as we can about each other’s businesses so that we can leave the meeting educated and ready to provide those vital sales leads for each other,” Blackman explained.