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Referral Groups 101

By Townes Haas   |    July 10, 2017   |    9:44 AM


What is a referral group and how can it help your business grow?

Referral Groups are networks of people that have built bonds based on trust, commitment and referral. The ideal referral group contains a wide range of committed members who regularly meet to forge trusting, professional business relationships, as well as to pass on quality business leads and referrals. Referral groups owe their success to the power of a unified team of people affiliated through trust and common goals. Sociologists use the term social capital to describe the collective benefit to a group of people when they cooperate through social networks. They explain that social networks generate value that is based on group bonds. The referral group is the ideal way to generate social and financial capital for your business. 

Why should a business be part of a referral group?

The most valuable reason is that it is difficult for a lone business to generate opportunities and ideas from scratch. By joining a referral group, you can gain precious knowledge from other experienced business leaders and entrepreneurs. Sharing ideas, especially on best and worst practices, can bring substantial benefits to your business and the individuals in it. As a wide variety of members share their ideas the businesses they own become increasingly efficient. If you troubleshoot and brainstorm alone chances are you won’t generate as many options. By joining a referral group you can boost your business acumen significantly. 

How will this drive success?

Referral groups create more business for any company big or small. In particular, it may be difficult for a small company to generate many business leads at inception, but when as part of a referral group this becomes much easier. Once you acquire group trust, other members may share lucrative opportunities with you that can be rewarding, boost your business’s reputation upon completion and generate further opportunities. As you get referrals from other members you may in return share referrals with them, leading to a never-ending supply of new business opportunities. It is of note that the larger the organization, the more frequently you will get referrals. 

Referral groups also share useful tools with one another. Most organizations provide members with a variety of tools anything from support software, useful documentation and more. Members may offer coaching or other mentorship programs to others, or any other number of useful services.

Especially when seeking to grow your business, you may not know many people in the sector and the local community may not be aware of your business offerings. Sitting behind a computer or looking for referrals on Linkedin will not get you the exposure you need. There is nothing like making face-to-face contact with members of the business community. You may meet potential partners or experts who can advise you on any number of issues. Once you join a referral group you will meet people that will help you to learn how to expand your business, you will get business referrals that will boost profitability and you will integrate into the local community thereby becoming a tried and trusted firm.

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