Finding and building your referral network is one of the most important things you can do as a business professional, regardless of the industry that you're in. From Insurance to farming, you need to create and develop relationships to help you find and gain customers because often times, no matter the industry someone looking for services will ask a friend, "do you know someone who can handle..", or "I'm looking to fix...." or even "I know someone who needs help with..."
Now there are examples of course where some professionals rely solely on advertising and marketing on the web and in print. The clients that are gained from these methods of course are a boon on the business but even then, you want to satisfy those clients so that they do, in fact, tell a friend, co-worker, or someone they hear talking about the services you provide and, in turn, have them give that person your business or personal contact details and bring in that new business.
Relying on this method may work, but if you're not getting many clients to start off with, this resource only goes as far as what you're willing to pay for advertising and often times professionals who are just starting out in their role don't have unlimited resources to market to every potential client they can. This is where building professional relationships comes in.
There are plenty of ways to develop relationships with other professionals, but it requires work and determination to make sure you build a robust network. There are plenty of opportunities to approach this including doing research on the type of businesses and professionals that would typically refer clients to your specific industry, cold-calling, and cold-emailing professionals, and even sending an introductory letter to those same businesses. However the best way to throw your hat in the ring to meet potential 'power partners' is a boots on the ground approach that includes going to networking events, participating in networking groups and even utilizing your local Chamber of Commerce to learn about events where professionals meet to begin getting face-time with business professionals to build professional relationships.
This method is seen as one of the most stressful for some people due to the fact that you're basically 'selling you' and and your attitude, demeanor and overall nature, trust and resources are judged by the people who you network with. This means you need to prepare yourself to make the best impression to everyone, every time.
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January 15, 2019