The Benefits Of Networking And Building Professional Relationships For Qualified Referrals
Networking has gained popularity in recent years. The benefits of networking include growing contacts, gaining new clients and building long term professional relationships. Every business owner should join a networking group or get involved with networking activities. Networking isn’t about selling. It’s about building long term relationships.
Referral business is the best business. There is nothing better for business than a repeat customer or client. Building professional relationships for qualified referrals is second to none as a way to build a business. It sends the message that you and your business are trustworthy and on the move.
According to author Larry James and writer Kim Baird of Amazing Business, the benefits of networking include:
Getting connected – The old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has never been truer. Building a base of connections creates a source of contacts that can help your business. Networking is all about building a network of connections and those connections have people that can also be tapped. Having an interconnected network of like minds opens up the door to a broad source of information.
New ideas – A network offers a source of connections with new ideas and perspectives for your business. It’s a great way to exchange ideas and keep up on the latest trends in your industry or line of business. Being a part of the network puts you in line as a knowledgeable contact that can offer help to others. This can help build your reputation within your circle of contacts as well as in your business line.
Being noticed – Networking raises your business profile. By regularly attending networking events gets you noticed. Your name and face will be the first to pop in your peers’ heads when they need what you offer. There is nothing better than a familiar face when it comes to business dealings.
Qualified referrals – These are people that have been vetted by the person making the referral. A qualified referral has the need for your service or product. The best referrals are generally from people within your network: people referring you to others and vice versa. By building a strong relationship with each person in your network earns their trust for referrals. Don’t be afraid to let people know the type of referral you are looking for-it’s best to have someone on board that will be of mutual benefit. Always keep in mind that referrals are earned by reputation. A person’s reputation is put on the line with each referral. Also, remember, it is better to give then to receive. By giving referrals can increase your value to others in your network. The more referrals you give, the more you will get.
Networking opens up a host of new opportunities for your business such as partnerships, joint ventures and client leads. Often times referrals and leads turn into clients. Nothing beats a base of contacts that can be at the ready to help you. You may be surprised at what new business opportunities await through networking.