If you are part of a business referral network like NWP then you are probably there to grow your business, get more clients and make valuable contacts. Like anything in life, this won’t happen if you just sit back and don’t do anything. You need to work the system to take full advantage of it.
To make this easier, I’d like to outline a few things that you can do at NWP to get the most out of it and really gain more clients, boosting your profits.
Show your face at the networking meetings.
As with some other platforms, at NWP we have weekly meetings where we present our businesses to the other members and then discuss how we can help each other. We find out what a good referral would be for each other’s businesses. However, if you aren’t present at these meetings then you won’t get a chance to promote yourself. Not just that, the other members won’t be able to promote you or find out more about your business.
Networking is about building relationships and you can’t do that if you are not present and involved.
To make things easier on yourself, block out an hour in your calendar for the meeting. Treat this as an important meeting that is there to help you grow your business. You wouldn’t miss a meeting with a client, so why would you miss a meeting that is intended to help you get those clients.
…to what the other members have to say about their business but also listen out for prospects for those members.
By helping others you help yourself.
If you are able to bring in referrals for other members, they are likely to reciprocate and find referrals for you.
Of course some people are in a better position to do this, so if you aren’t able to bring in lots of referrals like someone else might be able to, then try to think of another way you can help the other members to build their business. They will be grateful and will be more inclined to help you.
Be Proactive With Referrals
If you do get a referral from someone in your group make sure you follow through immediately and also offer the best service available.
If you wait a week before contacting the referral they may have gotten someone else to do the job in the meantime, leaving the member who gave you the referral wondering why they bothered in the first place.
Also, that member will most probably get feedback from the client about your service. If you provide bad service, that member will probably not refer the next person to you. The better the service you give, the more clients you will get as the word will be passed around that you are a reliable service provider.
Present The Right Information
During meetings you will be asked to present your business in a nutshell, usually having a minute to tell the other members what you do.
Keep this as precise as possible. It is actually good practice for you so that when you meet a new client you can tell them exactly what you do in under a minute and catch their attention, so keep refining your short presentation.
Use the other members to gauge what works best and what doesn’t. Ask them if they think your pricing is competitive. If you have a business where people may have the impression that your products or services cost a great deal more than what they actually are, then ask the other members what they think. If this is something that you can use, then use it, eg. most people thing my product would set them back XXX when in fact it only costs X.
Fine tune that presentation until you have a pitch that grabs the attention of the audience in less than a minute.
Use the Website
As a member of NWP you can send referrals and thanks for business that came from a referral through the website. This builds confidence.
When the other members can see that referrals are being sent and people are making money from them, they will be motivated to do their part. After all, everyone wants a piece of the pie. That could lead to you getting more referrals, especially if they keep seeing your name in the feed.
In a nutshell, if you want the system to work, you have to work the system. If you just sign up and expect to get business without doing anything, you will be most disappointed. Attend the meetings, build the relationships, help others, and in the process, help yourself.