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You regularly hear that creating and building a strong networking group is key to getting the referrals to grow your business. You do the work, but are you struggling to obtain referrals from your network? If you feel that your networking is not paying the dividends expected, you might consider some tips to get more from your network.

Networking is all about creating relationships. The key to building an effective network is to focus on your most important connections and to seek where you can be of service to those connections. Focus less on quid-pro-quo relationships and more on connecting with people who can help each other at the right time.

Demonstrating your value to your network means you have to help others understand the potential benefits of your products and services. How can you educate others in your network? Here are a few tips that can help:

1. Share manageable chunks of information about your business. By focusing on parts of your business, you can create impressions that can be absorbed, remembered, and internalized by your networking group. The more efficiently the group can understand, the more easily they can share and refer others to you.
2. Be specific with your network about what you can do. Share your concept of an ideal referral. Being explicit in this regard helps your network better understand your business and create the understanding necessary for them to make appropriate referrals. More referrals by themselves are good, but through education, you can get specific about your ideal referral and, in return, get better referrals. The clarity you provide with your network will make it easier for your network to help you grow.
3. Provide examples for your network of business interactions that went well. Your success stories can condition your network connections to be on the lookout for opportunities that fit this mold. Sharing the qualities of past successful relationships helps further your networks understanding of your business. This understanding will again lead to more relevant referrals.
4. Share any collateral you having with your networking group. Fliers, case study summaries, catalogs, and websites all help your network members better understand your work and can help them make more appropriate referrals. Furthermore, consider providing a sample of your product or services to members of your network. This is an excellent way to demonstrate your work and create the powerful relationships that can help your business grow through quality referrals.

The tips above are just a few of the many possibilities for creating stronger networking group. Your networking group is a set of relationships that need your investment and commitment to generate the results you need to prosper. Nurture those relationships, and your business will be successful.

By Jefre Outlaw, The Outlaw List