Being there – the secret of referral networking

I am back to one of my favourite subjects, but I make no apology. If you belong to referral networking group you have to turn up almost all the time. That’s how it works. You have to be seen, you have to communicate, you have to be trusted, and then your peers in the group will feel able to trust you as a reliable person to whom they can refer work from their clients and friends. Absentee members will not get work referred to them because they will not be seen as reliable. Indeed not honouring your fellow members with your presence on a regular basis is quite disrespectful.

BNI has a strict attendance policy and members can be removed for more than a couple of absences in six months. Not everyone can be comfortable with that formula, but founder Ivan Misner said recently “there is a direct correlation between the quantity of referrals generated in a networking group and the absenteeism of a group. The higher the absenteeism, the lower the referrals. The lower the absenteeism, the higher the referrals.” My experience in referral networking leads me to agree with that wholeheartedly.

Success in networking is about trust and reputation. I can refer another person only if I think they have a good reputation for reliability and therefore I need to know them well. If I refer them then my own reputation is on the line. It’s simple really. Be there!

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