Advantages For Becoming A Member of Business Referral Networking Group
The average small business without retail presence has several channels for generating new customer leads. Namely Yellow Pages, local paper advertising and word-of-mouth referrals. Of these methods of lead generation, word of mouth referrals are the most cost effective.
American sales guru Anthony Robbins claims that one personal referral is equivalent to 16 cold enquiries. If this is true, why is that so few of us take advantage of either joining or developing a business referral network? Not only are networking groups great fun, but are also a great opportunity to tap into a powerful referral stream.
There are five main advantages for becoming a member of a business referral group. They are:
1. Throw boomerangs, not sticks
One of the key aspects of belonging to a networking group is that you get the chance to establish a close, formal and strategic relationship with other like minded business people in your area.
Most people in business refer to other businesses on a daily basis. However, how would you know if the solicitor you regularly refer business to isn’t referring business to your competitor? Belonging to a group that has a structured and supportive environment is a sure-fire way of ensuring the business you send comes back to you.
2. Industry Exclusivity
Most networking groups offer their members industry exclusivity. That is, they only allow one member per profession. Through joining a group in your local area you can not only lock out your competitors, but also position yourself as the preferred provider or spokesperson for your industry. This ensures every opportunity to receive prospective referrals from all members within the group.
3. Establish closer relationships
The key to networking is fostering and developing better business relationship. Belonging to a networking group provides you a platform to better understand how other businesses in your marketplace function.
The advantage to you is that the better people understand your business and how it operates, the more effective others can help you grow your business by referring potential customers to you.
4. Sharing of ideas
A danger of operating a small business is that you can fall into the trap of becoming an industry reclusive. This type of recluse reads only relevant trade journals, attends only relevant trade conventions and talks only to relevant associates.
The problem with this is that you are reading, attending and speaking the same information your competitors are receiving. Alternatively, networking groups provide a forum for open discussion and exchange of ideas with a wide variety of professions with a vastly different outlook. It has been said that just one idea can revolutionise a business overnight.
5. It’s like acquiring a large sales team
Joining a business referral group is like acquiring a sales team – they constantly hunt out opportunities to recommend your product or service. If you join a group in your local area that has 20-30 members, that’s 20-30 people who should have no hesitation in referring you to friends, relatives and customers.
How many people do you have now that are eagerly awaiting any opportunity to whip out your business card?