Lead generation is a sales buzzword that businesses of every size — big and small — are always trying to improve upon. Your leads are your potential customers, the visitors on your website, and the referrals you get from a networking connection. The more leads you can get, through marketing, sales, and networking efforts, the more customers you’ll see buying your products or services. So how does networking business to business help in your lead generation efforts?
The heart of networking is about building long-term professional relationships. The best networkers have contacts in a variety of industries and fields, who they can reach out to for advice, information, or as a referral. The same is true in reverse. When you put time and effort into building your networking connections, those professional relationships can turn to you when they have a lead looking for products or services that you offer. The more strong business relationships you have, the more likely you are to see considerable lead generation through your referral network.
Building relationships is especially important for business to business networking. When you create relationships with other business owners or professionals in industries other than your own, you can drastically expand your reach to leads that you wouldn’t otherwise have any contact with. And businesses that support one another with referral efforts can both see a boost in lead generation!
One of the biggest reasons to build a referral network with your business to business networking is to expand your sales and marketing reach. The more people who know about your business, the more leads and customers you have. Creating a robust referral network allows you to break into industries outside your own, expand to new locations, and carry your business further than you can on your own with word of mouth.
When you do receive a referral from a networking connection, be sure to reward both your referral and your referee! How you reward them depends on your business and a reasonable offer you can give. Maybe it’s points accumulated towards a product or service. A discount or coupon is also a great reward to offer.
As a 4BR member, that referral also earns your fellow member 1 point toward their semester point requirement of 12. (Members earn points with referrals, 1-on-1s, attending trainings and events, bringing guests, attendance at meetings and more!)
However you decide to reward your networking connections who help fuel your business to business lead generation, it’s an important step to show your appreciation. Networking relationships, like any other relationships, are built upon mutual interest and respect. So when your networking connection hands you a referral to help your business, thank them genuinely. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for any potential referrals you can send their way, too!
There are a number of ways you can up your networking game and see more leads as a result. 4BR is a membership-based networking organization with hundreds of members across a huge variety of industries. Groups meet weekly to build and nurture lasting professional relationships. Check out 4BR groups in your area!