|August 31, 2021||Comments Closed|
Did you know that networking is one of the most talked about but seldom realized marketing activities?
Because many professionals simply don’t understand what effective networking is. As a result, they approach it with the wrong right mindset.
Effective networking is about helping others; more importantly, it’s about helping other people to get new business. If you find business for others, they’ll find business for you.
Building a referral network is one of the best techniques for developing a sustainable source of leads. When combined with the right mindset and approach, it will produce a steady stream of new business.
Here are five ways to build an effective referral network to grow your business:
Join a networking club
You can find networking groups all around you. Chamber of Commerce, social clubs and business clubs, for example, often have special interest groups
Find a group that meets regularly (weekly)
Be active. Take on a leadership role
The most effective networking groups are small but have top quality people who understand the rules of networking.
Network within an occupation
Identify a target occupation within your client base and find an individual to approach
A good accountant, for example, might provide you with opportunities. Mention that you need someone like them to help your clients and prospective clients and invite them for a coffee to get acquainted
The secret of being an effective networker is being a good listener. Ask good questions.
Stay in touch. Provide timely information. When you’re asked about your work, use your value statement to explain what you do and how you add value to your clients.
Follow the Six Degrees of Separation rule, which states that you can meet anyone in the world you want to, through no more than six people you know
Use LinkedIn to identify your best prospects and any common links
Use these common links to get introductions, and to ask for help in obtaining introductions from clients and centres of influence.
Join special interest groups
Identify causes you’re passionate about and identify the types of prospects you’d like to meet and the causes they support
By joining these organisations, you’ll become an insider
Give back by assuming leadership positions, and build your own personal brand
You will meet people and discover business opportunities along the way while contributing to causes you’re passionate about.
Build your own network
Make a list of professions you could give business to
Make a second list of those professions you believe might give you business
Identify the overlap between the two lists. The overlap is the basis for forming your own networking group – for example, accountants, realtors, bankers, travel agents and lawyers
Focus on high-quality professionals who have an excellent reputation in their field, and then invite them to join your networking group.
The key ingredient to be successful in building your referral network is a commitment to building relationships with people who are capable of, and willing to, provide you with leads and referrals. And you must also be committed to providing them with referrals and introductions.
A good referral network is your own proprietary marketing system that will generate a steady stream of new clients every year.
By the way, this unique system is something your competitors can never duplicate.