Business to Business Networking vs Small Business Networking
Referral groups do not seem to work well for some industries. If you are a business sales person, who calls on other businesses, instead of the individual consumer or individual business owner, a Business to Business Network Referral Group is probably a great way for you to increase your sales.
I never truly understood the power of networking until we first started our Business to Business networking group program back in 2004. Until then I was familiar with the typical Small Business Networking group. I’d even been a member of our largest competition organization in the past…..twice. You always have the residential realtor and the lender, along with an insurance agent, a MaryKay cosmetics representative, chiropractor, etc. Initially people do pass leads…..everyone enjoys the weekly meetings….well, at least in i Take The Lead Networking Referral Groups.
However, too often in a Small Business Networking group, once everyone is done doing business with the other members, the referrals dry up. Because the decision makers generally are not part of the Business to Business Network Group, the members are forced to bring in outside referrals. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to have success in any referral group:
- Get Clear on who your target market is
- Learn how to educate your Business to Business Network partners the best ways to send referrals to you
- Be sure to follow up with referrals quickly
- Thank the person providing the referral
- Let the others know you have followed up quickly and thoroughly
- Bring value to the team
Referral groups are a great way to increase your sales, but bear in mind that the purpose is to share referrals, not to sell to each other. Keep in mind that Networking is NOT the same thing as Selling