Improved Networking Through Education Generating Relationships Increases The Yield


Finding an Active Referral Group

When it comes to active referral groups, there are all kinds.  Active can include service to the community.  It can include certain activities the referral group causes.  A cinema society refers movies to its members and the general public.  Lions Club International is an active service group that is known as the Knights of the Blind.  Their cause is referring sight conservation to the community.  For the purpose of this article we will define referral group as an organization whose sole purpose is helping its members get new business.

Let’s first focus on the word helping because I believe this all starts with each member doing their part rather than waiting for the group.  I know of a young man who came to a referral group around 1995.  He understood that “input equals output.”  At the time, the group he joined had only six members.  He invited other business professionals to join the group.  In six months there were 16 members.  After two years there were nearly 40 members.  It is up to each member to do all that is necessary to make the group active.  That includes looking for referrals for other members, recruiting new members to participate, and using member business as your resources.  These activities create action.

The way to get new members is rather simple.  Most of these groups are breakfast or lunch meetings.  Remembering that “Telling isn’t selling,” we need to have another way to have people realize the value of joining your referral group.  Here is a simple script that works 90% of the time:  “I meet once a week for breakfast with a group of business professionals.  We spend our breakfast time discussing how we can help each other get more business.  I think you would be a good fit.  Can I buy you breakfast next week?”  Here we are asking a business professional to meet other business professionals for breakfast.  Their only investment is time.  For every four guests who visit your referral group, one will join.

When it comes to age it has been said, “Everything happens after 45.”  I think in the case of age it depends on how old you are at the time!  In the case of active referral groups, “Everything happens after 20.”  When a referral group has 20 or more members it is active.  More important is that things start to happen.  More referrals are exchanged.  Excitement is created.  As you track the dollars that are brought through the club on a weekly basis, you will see the value of each meeting.  Your guests will see that as well.  Successful/active referral groups track and report weekly the dollar value of referrals.

When it comes to active referral groups, bigger is better.  For those who have a unique offering, bigger is best!  Every referral group has a realtor, mortgage broker, insurance professional(s), and an investment advisor.  Other common positions held are business attorney, handyman, and chiropractor.  When you are a landscape architect, interior designer, or optometrist, you have a greater likelihood of being able to pick a club that will have a large population of referral partners.  Do your research to find the largest club that has your business category open.  Join that club.

It is important to identify your referral partners and be able to ask the tough questions.  When visiting a club, identify who are your referral partners.  As a realtor joins a club where there is an existing mortgage broker, the realtor wants to know if the mortgage broker will refer business.  Before joining the club be certain that the mortgage broker will refer business to you.  As you have multiple referral partners, ask questions and receive acceptable replies from each.  Acceptable to you might be that it is okay if a potential referral partner tells you they already have someone in your category that they currently refer all their business.  You may ask that referral prospect to use you as an alternate when two bids are required.

It is often said that, “The referral business is a numbers game.”  When we put our name out there good things will come to us.  Statistically, that is true.  What we are doing here is shortening the odds so that you can get business sooner than later.

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,

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  For more information, go to

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