“When was the last time you invited a referral source to a networking event? Introducing him to other business people you know gives your source an opportunity to meet others in your target market and may also provide new business opportunities.” ~ Ivan Misner
Here is the set-up for this powerful strategy:
1. Be sure you have several leads to pass out at your next networking meeting to demonstrate your sincerity about networking.
2. Take a serious look at people you network with outside of your networking group. Single out the ones you have great relationships with and invite them to your next networking meeting. NOTE: If your group is one that only allows one Realtor, one printer, etc., be sure that the person you invite will not clash with your groups restrictions. Your friend might just be the one to fill one of the open categories in your group.
3. Invite someone you’d like to know better to go along with you to your next networking meeting. They will have a chance to meet new people, and you both win. Always prioritise helping and giving to others ahead of taking and receiving for yourself.
I believe it is important for your friends to see how active you are in the community. Introduce them to your world. Think beyond the people you would typically see at other business networking events. Some of the most important connections are not business people, and consequently you need to be creative in reaching them. They need to know that you are involved and are an invaluable resource. They also need to see that networking works, i.e., they will see you pass out several business referrals to others, etc.
Introduce your friend to the leader of the group and to the people in your group that are the go-getters. You can strengthen your relationship with your friend by increasing the value of your friendship. This gives your friend an opportunity to meet others in your target market. It may also provide new business opportunities for each of you.
Offer your referral source a referral he or she might find useful. It’s a wonderful way to strengthen your relationship. By helping build your source’s business, you help create a debt of gratitude that will encourage your source to respond in kind. The result will be that they will think of you whenever they or someone they know needs your services and will also look to you as a referral source, keeping you and your business front and center in their minds.
A true networker is one who constantly seeks to form new relationships and strengthen them by helping others solve problems and achieve their goals. The next time you attend a business networking event, take along a referral partner, client or other contact from your own personal network. Your focus will be on helping them make new contacts, so introduce them to people who can potentially become their clients, partners or who are simply “good people to know.” You will sell yourself best by giving helpful information in a professional manner. Everything you do to help another person strengthens your relationship.
Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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