We’ll start out answering that question as it is the key to knowing if this is meant for you. We found this definition on entrepreneur.com: “The process of developing and activating your relationships to increase your business, enhance your knowledge, expand your sphere of influence or serve the community.” The added: “The changes may seem small, but they are significant. When one “activates” relationships, it’s a much more dynamic, interactive, give-and-take type of engagement with others than simply “using” the relationships. Using is a one-way street, while activating is a major two-way highway. It’s just much more powerful, more true to who we are — or need to be — today, if we want to succeed at truly engaging with our relationships. People who network in this way show markedly better results than the ‘users’.”
Many feel that passing out business cards at functions is networking, but how many of us really look a second time at those cards we’ve gathered? Networking is so much more than cocktails and schmoozing.
At Lake Tahoe Business Referral Network (LTBRN) we’ve made it easy to become a member, to get to know those in your immediate network and start the path to success, more business and more referrals.
Every business, particularly small, entrepreneurial or professional businesses, need to have a powerful referral network. It is very unlikely (and terribly expensive) to “advertise your way to success.” Without substancial capital, it can’t be done. It is far more effective, and more fun, to be a member of an effective network that increases your client base, supports your business, and makes you money.
Another great quote from entrepreneur.com: “To be successful with business networking, you should understand that it is really about helping others as a way of growing your business. The people you help are more willing to help you or connect you to people they know. So in essence, networking is part of the process you go through to build a referral-based business. Through networking, you can deliver your positive message effectively. Referrals are the end result.”
Hard to improve upon that statement so we’ll narrow down the referral network spectrum to LTBRN.
1. You become a member of a team of talented and local professionals and small business owners. Not only do you share your business know-how, but you learn from others at the same time.
2. Your business will grow from being a member. Simple statement but isn’t that why we’re all here in the first place?
3. Being “referable” is the number one key to being successful. Once a few people know that you continuously provide and excellent product and/or service they know they can refer you to their sphere of influence.
4. Weekly meetings are for sharing about both your business news and about how another member successfully met (or exceeded) your expectation.
5. We all work a lot and maybe never have time to share with other business owners. This is a great network of people who will become friends as well as a supportive network.
The process is an easy one! Reach out to a member (all listed on our directory), email or call us at (877) 783-6550. Once we share your name with our group you’ll be invited to a meeting. Once you attend three meetings and meet the criteria, you’ll be voted in.
You won’t regret making that move towards a successful business in South Lake Tahoe!
“You don’t have to know everything. You just have to know people who do.”
That is what makes the Lake Tahoe Business Referral Network successful. We are made up of local business owners, and mainly small businesses where there may be only the “boss” and a couple of employees. Members need to pull from the expertise other referral network members possess for a number of reasons. Here are a few:
A referral is when you connect someone you know to another resource for information or help — in this case, connecting your clients or peers to others within your network who have the skills they are looking for. You know that you are referring people that you can trust and know they’ll provide the service or product you’d be proud of.
South Lake Tahoe is a small community with many different types of businesses to service the locals, the visitors and the 2nd home owners. Being able to refer other local businesses makes the business community stronger and the service received an exceptional one.
Call it “good karma” if you like, but part of encouraging people within the referral network to send referrals your way is making an effort to give good referrals. Knowing your contacts well enough to send your own clients to them helps build relationships and is part of providing good customer service. There are a few key elements for good referrals:
Finally, remember to acknowledge people who send you referrals with some form of thank-you recognition!