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Networking Groups – Exclusive Referrals

In our first book, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, (www.integritysd.com) we wrote about exclusive networking groups.  We looked at the benefits of those organizations.  Since then, with many miles under our networking belt, we have learned some new lessons.  Mainly, the lessonsI would like to share in this article are the pros and cons of both exclusive and non-exclusive networking referrals.

Exclusive referral groups allow the networker to meet with one or more referral partners with the idea that referrals from their industry category will be exchanged with/to only them.  The classic example is the realtor and mortgage agent.  In exclusive networking groups the exchange seems very obvious.  When a realtor sells a home, the real estate agent refers the mortgage to their exclusive mortgage agent that is a group member.  A problem occurs when the realtor gets a listing with a pre-assigned mortgage agent, not a group member.  In many cases, a mortgage broker approaches a realtor, referring the listing to the real estate agency.  The realtor assigned to list the property can now only use the referring mortgage agent.

Exclusive referral groups can also get tricky when it comes to the issue of know, like, and trust.  Frequently, quality of character, work ethic, and work performance become an issue.  If a member of the group is a hair stylist and does a less than satisfactory job on your haircut, the opportunity to refer that stylist is limited.  Having the ability to be able to use multiple referral partners comes in handy.  Using the example of the hair stylist, coloring of hair, type of style specialty, and cut can all be considered as to who one chooses to use.

Personalities are often different.  There is an entire industry that does personality profiling.  Exclusive referral partners frequently find that they lose an opportunity to refer because personalities are different from the person being referred to their prospect.  Some people like working with the opposite sex.  Others will only work with the same sex.  It is hard to admit, yet true, race, creed, and color do matter even as we would like to see it as different.  Some work hard.  Some work soft.  Some are aggressive.  I could go on and on with analogies.  The point is, people are different so we need to have different referral partners to be affective connectors.

Quantity of work can also become an issue.  The mortgage agent who wants to sell multiple deals may need more than one realtor to refer business.  The other side of this issue is when referral partners get too busy that they need another referral partner from the same industry to handle the overload.

Non-exclusive networking groups give us the opportunity to mix and match.  When we have the ability to develop a know, like, and trust relationship with three or more professionals in one industry, we can then refer more than three to a referral partner in need.  Then each of the three candidates for the referral can do what they can to sell themselves to our referral partner.  In this example, differences are good for the opportunity of selecting the best fit.

As they say in real estate, “Location, location, location,” is important.  Where we live can become an issue when it comes to answering the question of exclusive or non-exclusive referral groups.  In some cases, as with the insurance industry, insurance agents are licensed to do business in multiple states.  Other agents are limited to a single state.  A realtor may want to only sell to a select market in a select community.  This must be considered when choosing between an exclusive and non-exclusive networking group.  In one case, an insurance agent discovered that business benefit sales professionals are the best referral partners.  Therefore, the insurance agent is looking for five business benefit sales professionals to develop that know, like, and trust relationship.

There are many answers which largely depend on where you want to take your business.  As a start-up company an exclusive networking group may get you on the road to success.  As your success blossoms, a non-exclusive group may be your ticket to increased success.  Just remember, evaluate where the business is coming from and adjust your networking referral group to meet your business growth and development.

 

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with people in business who want to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website, www.integritysd.com.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started INTEGRITY.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

 

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