In this short article we are going to advise you on the important factor you need to consider when selecting a business networking group to join. Business networking groups have gained in popularity over the past decades as more and more business owners rely on personal referrals to grow their business. This is very much about the know, like and trust factor where a business owner will recommend someone to another person who they know like and trust, therefore transferring that trust to the other person.
Any business owner will tell you it is much easier to convert a referral into a paying customer than it is a potential customer from any other source. Businesses now understand the power of this and actively seek out business networking opportunities where they can forge relationships with other synergistic businesses and gain from the referrals that follow.
The key points to look for when choosing one of these groups are who are the group members made up of and is there any accountability within the group.
You need to look at which other types of businesses make up the group and hope that some if not all are congruent and make sense for your business. For example, if you’re a builder or roofer then joining a group that was made up predominantly of financial service professionals may be a bit pointless as they won’t necessarily be in regular contact with businesses who can refer you.
However, a group full of other trades like plumbers, window fitters, carpenters, landscapers and sparkies may be the perfect group for referrals.
With regards to accountability it is important to look at the goals of the group and what actually gets done at the meetings and make sure the meeting doesn’t just descend into a coffee morning. Try and find groups who have a structure and tracking in place as you will benefit much more from these groups in terms of referrals.
A good example is BNI Reading Inspire Chapter who are the leading networking group. They meet at the Hilton Hotel every Wednesday morning and are one of the most productive groups in the Thames Valley.Group leader Brian Mitchison can be contacted for more details on attending a meeting as a visitor.
Business networking is a powerful concept that should be utilised by every business. This article gives you the tips you need to maximise your networking time.