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Top 7 Ways of Selecting a Networking Group

By Leni Chauvin

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It has been said that 80% of business today comes from referrals. People want to do business with people they know, like, trust and respect. One of the best places to develop strong referral relationships is at a leads exchange group. These groups typically meet once a week, with the same core group of people in attendance. Here are the top seven ways of selecting a group that is right for you:

  1. Talk to the members and ask: o Is there a large turnover rate? Why? o Is it producing results or just a koffee klatch? o What do they like/dislike about the group? o What have they learned since joining? o How, besides receiving leads, have they benefited? o Do they feel their best interests are being looked after?

  2. Look at the fees. How do the fees compare with traditional methods of advertising? Ask yourself if it is cost effective -- not is it expensive? Everyone seems to know the cost of things, but not their value.

  3. Consider the group's structure. Some people like structure, some don't. The structured groups tend to produce the most results, and keep members focused on producing qualified leads for one another. Consider if the structure suits your personality. Will you be able to adhere to the rules and regulations?

  4. Check to see if there is an opportunity for you to take on a leadership role. This is really important as it gives you the chance to show off how you do things. You are seen as a leader and a good source of leads, which, in turn, will bring leads to you.

  5. Be honest about your level of commitment. Will you be able to attend the meetings regularly? If not, join a group that is less structured and works more on a drop-in basis. Go as often as you can to create visibility.

  6. Make sure there is a code of ethics. Remember,you're making referrals. Your name is on the line. You need to know that the other people in the group are reputable, too.

  7. Find out who is running the group. What is their reputation? Do they provide training on networking strategies and techniques? What other kinds of support are provided?

Today's Top7Business Article Was Submitted by Leni Chauvin, president of BRE Business Referral Exchange™, a coaching, training, and leads exchange company for people who want more business, a solid client base, and plenty of referrals. Her popular booklet, Mingle and Make Money is a guide to working any room with confidence, and Networking Gazette, her FREE email newsletter, is read around the world by people looking for tips for growing their business with QUALIFIED leads.

Contact Leni at
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Article Submitted On: September 07, 1999