Your networking team should be made up of the best, strongest, and most successful business professionals you know.
If you were going to build a sports team, wouldn’t you look for the best people you could find to put on your team? If you wanted to build a successful business, wouldn’t you try to hire the best people you could find? Doesn’t it make sense that you should recruit the best people you can find to be on your networking team?
You can choose who you will and will not invite to be a referral partner. Why not choose the best?
You want people you feel good about sending referrals to
Remember that those you choose to partner with will be the people you refer your best customers and customers to. Do you want to send them to someone who may mistreat or deceive them? Someone who could take advantage of their ignorance of your products and services and sell them more than they need or charge them more than they should? Of course not.
Therefore, you must ensure that the people you invite to become your referral partners are held to the highest standards of honesty and integrity, that they are people who have a reputation for high ethical values. You want professionals who are experienced and able to provide your friends and business partners with the right service at the right price. If there are issues or disagreements, you want to make sure your referral partners will stand behind your products and promises and do what’s right for the customer.
You want people who can send you referrals
You want people who have been in business a while and have a “book” of satisfied customers. They must have a good reputation in the community and be respected as leaders in their field. They must have credibility with their clients, with other business professionals in the community, and with those who reside in the community. Obviously, successful people have a larger sphere of influence, more influence over the people in their network. You can call them centers of influence and they are the people you want in your network.
It has been said that your network determines your net worth and it is true. If you associate with high-quality, successful professionals, you’ll be seen as them and ultimately become like them.
How are you going to build relationships with the right people?
First, visit networking events in the local area where you are likely to meet those people. Spend your time with these people. Find them at the event and ask permission to meet for a cup of coffee or lunch. Follow up and set a time when you can discuss business referral possibilities with each other. If you can’t meet them at an event, you might be able to ask a friend to recommend you or just pick up the phone and call the person to introduce yourself.
Always focus on adding value to other people’s lives. Some may be looking for referrals to grow their business or may be looking for other resources to improve the quality of their lives. Either way, the process starts with understanding your needs.
Be persistent in building the relationship. Write a “Thank You Card” after the meeting and talk to them or meet with them regularly. Keep looking for opportunities to help them in any way you can. We are all pretty busy. So in order for you to stand out in their minds and deserve referrals, you need to make proactive efforts to educate and motivate them.
Your success in networking depends on these three ingredients:
- The quality of people in your network
- The number of people in your network and
- Your ability to influence them to recommend businesses to you.
Keep working on these three ingredients and you’ll soon have people referring businesses to you on a regular basis.