People who need people…

Yesterday, I heard 3 businesses talk about how they have grown revenues in the midst of a down economy.  Each of them mentioned partnering, networking, and developing referrals as a major component.  When I look at my own business (up 32% over 2011), nearly all of my growth has come from referrals and networking.

In B2B (business to business) companies, relationships are key.  If you sell an intangible, like most service companies do, the stakes are even higher.  New customers need to trust you quickly and to have reason to feel confident in your abilities.  Hearing about you from people they already trust skyrockets that process, leading to more contracts in less time.

This isn’t new information, but I’m still shocked by the number of business people who have not built substantial referral networks–both for the marketing benefits and for the resources those referral sources could provide to existing clients.  Why have so many people failed to take this basic step?  Here are the most common reasons cited:

1.  It’s hard to find time to meet with people.

2.  I don’t know how to make connections with people I don’t know.

3.  I’m uncomfortable with networking — it feels self-serving.

4.  I’ve met with people, but nothing ever comes of it.

Building good referral sources DOES take time.  You’re developing a relationship, and that doesn’t happen over one cup of coffee.  Building a good referral network requires you to meet people you don’t already know and grow those relationships.  Building good referral partners is a two-way street, so it isn’t self-serving at all.  You want to find people who are comfortable recommending you that you are also comfortable recommending.  Both parties benefit from a good referral relationship.

After years of watching people struggle with this neccesary part of business, I’ve developed a system to help. 

6 Degrees is a structured networking approach to connect business people to the appropriate types of referral partners, to help them build relationships together, and to facilitate mutual success.  It answers all of the objections mentioned earlier. 

If you’ve struggled with developing good referral partners, or you simply want to extend your referral network, take a look at .  It may be just the thing to help your business hit new levels of success.

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One Comment on “People who need people…”

  1. I can say without hesitation that I love the 6 Degrees group idea. I’ve always preferred small groups for networking because of the opportunity to really get to know the group members. As I develop a deeper understanding of the person AND their business, it becomes natural and easy to refer business to that person (and that person to me).

    If you’ve struggled through those huge networking events, try this different approach. It definitely works for me. And having Denise create these specialized groups full of people SHE already knows, likes and trusts is a key success factor.

    Angie Mattson
    Your Organized Guide, Inc.

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