Everyone loves doing business with fellow group members, but the real value of a referral leads group is getting (and giving) referrals from outside of a group’s membership. This means that you’re being referred to the clients, prospects, friends and family of your fellow members. When this happens, you’ll know you’ve reached the mother load of trust and respect.
The Key to Receiving Outside Leads
Herein lies the key to receiving outside leads–trust and respect. This key can elude some. Sometimes it’s merely lost between two individuals. Trust and respect in this context can be a challenge. For example, if I refer you to a client of mine, I expect follow-through and awesome customer service. Continue reading Generating Outside Leads
I recently read an article about mastermind groups and found that they share some attributes and best practices with leads groups. No big surprise, but it’s nice to read it from someone else. Here’s the short list of commonality.
Meet Regularly And Precisely. I (the blog post author, Sid Savara) call this the “nuts and bolts.” Keep to a regularly scheduled time, ensure all members are punctual – and end on time.
Make sure you capture what happened at each meeting – lessons and triumphs, goals, and items you want to keep each other accountable to.
Pick your Partners. A mastermind group (like a referral/leads group) is only as good as the people in it – pick your partners with care.
Agree On Ground Rules. …keep in mind the purpose of setting rules is not to stifle anyone – the purpose of the rules is to ensure everyone benefits from the mastermind group. In referral groups, the rules help with accountability.
It’s a well known fact that the momentum of referral groups tends to ebb and flow. The degree to which this ebb and flow occurs varies by group. The most common culprit of momentum loss is the result of few or no new visitors at the weekly meetings. This can have group members scratching their collective heads over the question of how to attract more guests.
Often, members will stop inviting guests once they’ve gone through your entire personal network. In this case, one can choose to look at the situation as a challenge similar to the challenge that businesses face on a regular basis–the challenge of getting more leads, or in this case, more guests. While the answer is relatively simple, it’s not always so obvious. Continue reading The Ebb and Flow of Referral Group Momentum
We’ve written about it in the past, but it’s worth reiterating the importance of actively referring your partners. Reason one is that by letting clients know that you’re a hub of resources, you’re strengthening your client relationships; and strong relationships improves your chances for more business. Reason two is that actively referring your partners plays into the “givers gain” philosophy. It’s human nature to want to help those who have helped us.
Part of referring your partners involves actively seeking out opportunities to do so. Promoting partners in your social network can be an effective way to let clients and friends know that a) you’re involved in a referral group and b) that you’re a resource hub. Like any marketing activity, regularity and repetition is key. Social media is a great way to promote your partners on a weekly basis. Choose a partner to promote weekly, focusing first on your your Professional Pod (i.e. ideal referral partners). As with your one-on-one meetings, make your Pod the initial focus, and then expand outward to others in your referral group and sphere of influence.
Here are some examples of social media posts that you can use to promote your partners.
Your Partner4Leads group website includes easy to use links to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (Posting About Your Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). Get creative and get social when promoting your partners and group. It’s easy exposure and could help you find your next client or referral partner.
It’s a well known fact that Real Estate professionals are among those who typically do well in referral/leads groups. One reason that referral groups are can be such a great source of referrals, is because it gives professionals the opportunity to build new professional relationships and/or strengthen existing ones. Savvy real estate professionals recognize that there are opportunities abound within these tight communities known as referral groups. The one-on-one concept alone gives Realtors access to the clients and friends networks of their group co-members. Referral groups also present an opportunity or Real Estate pros to get acquainted with new faces that come in the form of group visitors (i.e. guests). In fact, the door is wide open for setting appointments with visiting guests, all of whom are prospective clients and group members. These one-on-one conversations can and often do result in closed transactions over time.
Beyond the benefits of one-on-one meeting opportunities, referral groups are a proven marketing activity. Engaging in up to ten marketing activities is known to be a must for sales success, and referral groups provide great potential for the return on investment as one such activity. Participation is, however, key to getting the most out of a referral group; but that’s true with any marketing activity. Participation and active involvement make it all the difference.
Due to the nature of our business, Real Estate professionals rely heavily on partners to help in a transaction, therefore, we are natural networkers. Assuming that Successful agents know: to grow their business is good; there are number of avenues to do this, like investing in social media, investing in Google ads, determining ways to improve one’s SEO, walking neighborhoods and knocking on doors, attending networking events, or holding open houses. From my experience, the best leads, and strongest, are from introductions by those that know us, versus internet leads or even open house contacts. I would encourage agents to invest time in participating in a networking group.
~Rod Hibner, Realtor & Partner4Leads Group Lead in Campbell, CA
As a Real Estate professional, finding an opening in a referral group is seldom easy. What should one do in this situation? Ever consider starting your own referral group. Partner4Leads has the training systems, resources and infrastructure needed to build successful, active referral communities. Contact us to find out how we can help you build your own referral generating group.
The month of September is filled with some unique event happenings, as well as the usual event activity at Partner4Leads. We have new group kickoff events in San Francisco, Sunnyvale and Sandy, Utah, and a happy hour mixer event in Santa Rosa, CA. For more info about these various events, see our Eventbrite listings.
The suggestions below come from Tim Smith, Group Lead for the Redwood Empire Leads Group. Tim sent them out to group members to encourage invitations to their upcoming Plus+1 guest event. Way to go Tim!
Here are 5 ways you might open the conversation, by phone, email or in person:
1) Would you like to meet some people who can help you grow your business?
2) (power partner approach) I know four people who often have referrals for (name the guest’s kind of business).
3) I belong to a referral group that passes a 100 leads a month, and right now we’re looking for (name the guest’s kind of business) to send our referrals to. Would you like to check out whether this group is a good fit for you?
4) (open or at-risk seat) We have an opening for (name the guest’s kind of business) in the referral group I belong to, and it probably won’t be open for long.
5) My referral group is hosting a special networking breakfast event. Would you like to join me for breakfast and meet some people that might have leads for you?
In recent months, we found that one of our groups has been using an effective old-school tactic for driving guests to their visitors day events. The old-school tactic they use is sending letters. The letters to local businesses are essentially an invitation to the group’s next visitors day meeting. The group’s letter was so well crafted, that we’ve used it to create a template that any referral group can easily use. The template along with a couple of documents outlining a Plus+1/Visitors Day Event have been made available to download.
The group that’s using this letter as an invitation has also implemented an accountability component, which essentially holds all members accountable to using the tool. Not only that, each member is being asked to send the letter to 10 different businesses. No wonder their average visitors day events bring between 15 and 20 guests, and yields them 2 to 3 new members, following each event. Beyond the new members, imagine all the new business that’s generated from the connections that are made.
This is a truly powerful and easy to implement approach that can compliment your group’s existing marketing activities. Kudos to Ryan Kelly, Lindsey Ehrlicher and The M.A.G.E. Group (aka Santa Rosa Leads Group) for putting together such a great marketing tool.