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People who say that networking played a role in their success spent an average of 6 1/2 hours a week networking and had half of their clients from their networking time. However, people who did not invest as much time networking also did not report as much reward. Therefore, spend about 8-10 hours per week networking and do the right things to build the relationships first when networking.

Here are reasons that a Referral Network might be just what you are looking for

1. You’ll be part of an exclusive community. The other members need you just as much as you need them, so the quality of experience and knowledge is crucial to all involved.

2. Advisement. Once you are involved in referral network, that feeling of “being alone” while running your business is gone. The other members of the group turn into business advisors of sorts and vice versa.

3. Collaboration is the name of the game. You may find someone in the group that is a perfect fit to work on a project with you. Or, you may be the ideal person to help another member as well. The group works together collaboratively, to achieve more together.

4. Extend your network. Joining a referral network expands your network exponentially and rapidly. If you are in business, you know how important your network is. By joining, you instantly add to your network and typically gain the networks of those in the group with you. It’s vital in any business or professional pursuit to establish connections in the community. These relationships can serve as information resources and business partnerships, and as an avenue to influential individuals who may be able to provide you with advice and mentoring opportunities

5. New learning. Everyone in the network is unique in skill, experience, and connections. By interacting and sharing your challenges, it’s almost sure that someone in your group will have a solution for you and you may also be able to offer a solution, connection or tactic to help another in the group.

6. Cross-promotion. When you join a referral network, you will most likely find ways to help each other by utilizing cross-promotion. Finding ways to help each other through promoting to your respective networks. It’s safe to assume that each person within your referral circle has his or her own network, and the services you offer as a health and fitness professional may be enticing to another individual within your contacts’ networks. You refer clients to those in your network for services you can’t provide and, in turn, they send potential clients to you.

7. Think bigger. Being in a network, you can’t help but think bigger and stretch beyond your boundaries when surrounded by amazing people doing amazing things.

Referral networks are incredible and can do wonders for your business. Growing in a group is not only more effective, but it’s also quite a bit more fun!

By joining you’ll increase your exposure to like-minded professionals, gain referrals from a network and sharpen your networking skills. Develop lasting relationships that allow you to grow personally and professionally.

By Jefre Outlaw, The Outlaw List