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2 Steps to More Referrals: Networking at Professional Associations  E-mail

An often over-looked place to network and find referral partners is
professional associations.  These associations serve people working
in a particular industry or profession and can provide you with
many resources, as well as valuable connections. You may not think
that networking within your profession will provide any client
leads, but you'd be surprised!  Colleagues refer to others in their
field for a variety of reasons--it could be an issue of scheduling,
timing, specialty or expertise. 

To take advantage of professional associations, follow these two
simple steps.

Step 1: Find a Group to Join
The first step is to find a group.  This can either be the
professional association for your industry or profession (such as
the American Bar Association for lawyers or the International Coach
Federation for coaches) or an organization that serves the same
target market you serve.  For example, a client who is a mortgage
broker belongs to her local Home Builders Association and a
photographer we know goes to meetings for design professionals.
Think about who else comes in regular contact with your target
market and find out what associations they belong to.

You can find groups by asking people what professional associations
they belong to, or by using these resources:

ASAE: http://www.asaecenter.org/
Weddles: http://www.weddles.com/associations/
National Trade and Professional Associations of the United States
(this directory is available at most public libraries)

Step 2: Give and Get Involved
Networking and referral building take time.  People need to know
you, like you, and trust you before they start referring people to
you.  Become a valued member of a local association by joining the
group and attending its meetings.  Volunteer and serve on a
committee.  Give referrals to other members.  The more you give of
yourself and your time, the more likely you will be to receive.
And don't be afraid to ask; it's okay to let people know that
you're looking for referrals.

We encourage you to explore some new places to network by adding a
few professional associations to your list of places to go.  Find
one you like, get involved, and you're on your way to more
referrals.

 

 

You are welcome to reprint and distribute copies of our articles provided you follow our reprint guidelines .   

Copyright © 2012, The Networking Gurus, Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold.

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