A referral network is crucial for your business’s survival. Here are some reasons why.
What is a Referral Network?
A referral network is a group of individuals and organizations who recommend your business to others. This will help it grow through the engagement they have with your company. The referrals tend to go both ways, meaning both individuals or organizations will benefit from each other. The people or companies usually either have the same target market or are in the same industry. Referrals can be formal or informal. Formal agreements are a group of companies in a similar industry. Informal agreements are your personal connections with people where you have to research a company.
SOCO Selling reports that 86% of companies with an adopted referral program have increased revenues over the past 2 years, so in answer to “Do I Need a Referral Network?” Absolutely. Any business that shares your target audience, but crucially isn’t a competitor is an ideal connection for a referral network. They’re instrumental if you can identify complementary businesses to your own; for instance, if we consider real-estate brokers, they should be able to refer customers to moving companies. It’s stated that 87% of Sales Reps, 82% of Sales Leaders, and 78% of marketers agree that referrals are the best leads you can get.
Taking part in networking activities such as professional association events, industry-specific conferences, or even virtual meetups can give you access to valuable industry insights that extend past what is available through traditional research channels. For those just starting in business, forming relationships with seasoned professionals can provide invaluable guidance in navigating the corporate landscape more efficiently and confidently. Business networking has numerous potential benefits, making exploring this powerful resource well worth exploring. These are:
- Increased visibility of your organization
- An influx of ideas or opportunities
- An opportunity to build relationships with potential customers or suppliers
BNI and Others
If you are looking for something more formal start by looking locally for referral networking groups, such as BNI. Alternatively, your local chamber of commerce or online communities relevant to your industry may also be helpful in facilitating these connections. If you are looking for something more informal it is more about just getting started with connecting with industry professionals and other businesses that might be relevant for your target audience.
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