When networking for new business, build close relationships with others who provide a complementary service to the same target market.
It may help to think of your inner network as a channel to market. Let me explain.
In a recent 121 meeting with a member of NRG-networks in London, I was explaining the idea of a networking inner circle. Out of which will come your Advocates. Your Inner Circle is made up of relationships with business people who provide complementary services to yours in similar markets. By meeting regularly to share experiences, support and contacts you can quickly build a very powerful and regular source of well qualified referrals.
We discussed how to formulate a networking strategy to build this close network. It involved much more clarity around networking objectives and key messages.
Towards the end she said "That's just like channel marketing. I understand that completely!"
I spoke about this in a recent 121 meeting with another member of a breakfast network I belong to. One of the services she provides is a diagnostic as part of the Investors in People standard. This often identifies opportunities for her as a trainer & for other professionals operating in the same space. She mentioned others involved in compliance and standards. For example HR, Health & Safety, ISO9000 & Employment Law.
A ready made list of the type of professionals for her to form close business relationships with!
In the course of your conversations with clients and prospects, who else could you regularly refer? Could it be that these are the very same people who could be regularly referring you?
It helped in the first example I gave today to think of her inner network in the same way as a larger company might treat a channel to market. Large companies are often exercised with the question of motivating these channels to produce business. In the same way we can explore ways in which we can motivate this Inner Network to become Advocates.