Networking for business growth

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'Life's an echo. What you send out comes back...' Referring new business to those in your network causes a deep-rooted psychological urge to return the favour - known as The Law of Reciprocity. Need help building your referral network?

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

Referrals are the easiest way to generate new business, and they don’t cost you anything - although rewarding them will encourage more. Referrals are best sought from existing customers or those you regularly do business with - in other words, your network of potential advocates.

Seven ways to build a strong network and maximise referrals:

1. Value the lifetime value of a new client

The lifetime value of a client = (Average transaction value x average purchase cycle) x customer lifespan. Calculate the revenue you’re likely to generate from a new client, and then consider ways you could reward them to demonstrate your appreciation of their repeat business.  Maybe a voucher toward their next purchase, or simply a bottle of wine.  They’re likely to spread the word.

2. Identify businesses that complement your services

A surveyor may work with lawyers, bankers, accountants and tradies, who can all refer business to each other.  Create an informal group and commit to gathering regularly.  At each meeting, in addition to being sociable, discuss how you can work together more effectively.  Focus your energy on the people who are aligned with your vision and values.

3. Refer more work to your networks

Giving work to others will encourage more referrals in return - this is called The Law of Reciprocity.  When you do something nice for someone, they’ll have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return.  The more you refer, the more you’ll receive in return.  And, be sure to thank your referrers!

4. Join a formal network

There are existing networks that you can join, for example, BNI, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce.  It’s all about developing relationships and building trust.

5. Be prepared to connect

Bring appropriate business collateral, even if it’s just your business card.  Have your elevator pitch clear and some dummy questions in mind to engage new people.  Don’t do all the talking and spread yourself around to gauge who is most aligned with your thinking.

6. Get involved in the community

Sponsoring a non-profit organisation or club that aligns with your values can be invaluable.  Avoid ‘peddling your wares’ when working with the organisation, simply wear branded clothing and have signage (where appropriate).  Prospective customers need to know you, like you and trust you before they’ll buy from you.

7. Follow up those you naturally connect with

You can achieve that with a simple email or a helpful article that made you think of them, stay in touch. Networking is a process.

Ask yourself:

What can you implement today to grow your network?

Bonus idea

Join ilumin at one of our free seminars, suggest the seminars to others and use them to grow knowledge and your network. Join our mailing list or follow our social media to find out when our next seminar is being held.

"Life is an echo.  What you send out comes back.  What you sow, you reap.  What you give, you get.  What you see in others, exists in you." - Zig Ziglar For questions, clarification or assistance, just drop us a note or give us a call, we’re here to help.