What we’re going to look at today is how to create the platform or foundation to grow your business when you’re involved in a referral or networking group. These groups are part of many people’s marketing plans, and I want to talk about how to start building a referral base. Specifically, I’ll be going over building the relationships first, which will eventually lead to referrals. So here are seven things to look at:
1. Quantity time. Essentially, the amount of time you spend with group members. Show up consistently to the networking events. Interact with people, get together one-on-one, and have meetings outside of the official events. The quantity of time matters when it comes to building relationships.
2. Quality time. Now we’re getting past the superficial conversations. We’re all unique human beings, and we all have deeper reasons for why we’re involved in our businesses. Strive to understand not only what someone does, but why they do it. Also, find out what other things people are involved in, whether it’s volunteering in a charity or participating in the local community. Go deeper and really get to know your group members.
3. Business time. It is important to understand what people do and who their target market is. Know the ideal client for whoever you’re looking to work with.
4. Mean what we say and say what we mean. This sounds self-explanatory, but it’s not necessarily true in many cases. We need to be consistent and show integrity in everything we do. Stick to doing what you say you’ll do, and gain the trust of your group members.
5. Understand different communication styles. Realize that in groups, there’s a variety of different ways people like to communicate. For some, it’s via email. For others, it might be face-to-face or speaking in front of groups. Some people like to tell stories. Others prefer to talk graphs and numbers. Know that you’ll need to communicate in different ways with different people for best results.
6. Embrace diversity. We don’t always agree with everyone and everything, but embrace the fact that there are differences. We can try to understand and learn from others who come from different walks of life and backgrounds, whether it be cultural, religious, etc.
7. Champion similarities. Everyone in your networking group joined because they want to grow their businesses and their networks. You’re all are on the same page in that regard.
These tips will set the foundation for you to give and receive referrals. Go out, take action, and have a better than amazing day.