Network using this one strategy and see exponential results with less effort.

For some, professional networking is the single most effective way to grow their business. The interesting caveat is that seasoned networkers don’t attend networking events to sign new business, right then and there, on the spot.

So the million dollar question is… how are seasoned networkers growing their business on the networking circuit and how can you do the same?

Network for the right reason.
First, throw the mindset out the window that you are networking to meet new clients. Instead, set your sights higher and network to find Referral Partners.  The potential revenue from one new Referral Partner is tenfold the potential revenue from one new client.

Know your ideal referral partner. Determine who your ideal Referral Partner is so that when someone at a networking event asks “How can I help you?” you will know exactly how to answer.

Most often, your ideal referral partner will be professionals in a complementary or adjacent industry to your own. For example, Chiropractors might partner well with Massage Therapists and Acupuncturists; Tax Accountants might partner well with Tax Attorneys; Wedding Photographers might partner well with Event Planners.

Also, consider that your ideal referral partner maybe in your exact industry offering services you do not or cannot. For example, a Personal Trainer who specializes in helping their clients with strength training might partner well with a Personal Trainer who specializes in weight loss.

The logic.  Why not go straight to the source for good referrals to grow your business?  You and your referral partners become a natural “sales force” for one another, sharing the same target market and in contact with them frequently.  And often, your referral partners have customers and prospects in need of services they do not provide so it behooves them to have someone like you to whom to refer them.

I challenge you to take action!

1) Identify your ideal referral partner industries.

2) Ask for introductions to individuals in those industries when you’re out networking.

3) Reach out to those individuals and propose meeting to discuss a referral partnership.

comment-arrowSo who is your ideal referral partner? 

For help in identifying ideal referral partners and the subsequent steps to systematically build strong and effective referral partnerships, I love recommending C.J. Hayden’s article Wanted: 100 Referral partners.

© 2014 CERTUS™ Professional Network / Behind The Moon, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sabrina Risley

Sabrina Risley is a master connector. She’s been hosting live networking events since 2004 and has welcomed 20,000+ professionals to those events. She shares her observations, insights and tips of how the top 2% of effective and magnetic networkers build their businesses. She also shares what NOT to do when networking. Get her complimentary e-book: Strategic Networking for Success.
Sabrina Risley