Beth Boen has more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service. She is an award-winning marketer. She is also a professional trainer and customer experience consultant. Beth loves helping people build long-term, loyal relationships that produce quality connections in their business that lead to lifetime customers and endless referrals. Beth helps people do this through her thoughtful blogs and training curriculum. Members of SHE Leads Group have access to more in-depth business development training through presentations at meetings from Beth, her curriculum, and guest trainers. In addition to being the Founder of SHE Leads Group, Beth has had a training and consulting business, The Voice Customer Experience, that she started in 2005.
The woes of belonging to only one leads group
There are some leads group organizations who want their members to only be in their leads group and no others. At first this sounds like a reasonable request. But, is it really?
As we discussed in our previous blog, in leads group where quantity of members is the priority over quality of members, you may not want to refer to someone, if you would not be confident staking your stellar reputation on them. There are other reasons as to why to have an expanded network outside of just one leads group.
In addition to the problem we discussed in our previous blog, when one is restricted to only belonging to one leads group and to only pass to those in your leads group, you are restricting the choice you give your clients who may be asking you for a referral. A client may have a particular need that requires someone with specialized experience. Also, not every personality clicks in such a way that your client would want to do business with the other person. The way in which personalities mesh or don’t mesh does come into play. Giving clients a choice of 2 or 3 highly recommended referrals puts them in the driver’s seat to choose from whom they prefer to work.
When you go through the process of identifying your power partners/strategic alliance partners, you will want more than just one in each business category. You will want ones with differing expertise, industry experience, personalities, and potentially pricing.
Imagine you are the marketing consultant in your leads group. There is a web designer in your group who does a great job at a standard brochure type website, but your client needs something with robust eCommerce solutions. The web designer in your group has made it know they are not a fan of more complicated websites such as eCommerce, but will still do them. Referring your client to them may not be in the best interest of your client. Your client needs someone with eCommerce expertise. Now, imagine you are allowed to be in another leads group and the web designer in that other group has a great deal of expertise with eCommerce. You now have a resource to provide your client.
Regardless of leads groups’ rules, you should be able to have a network of more than just one strategic partner in each business category. You want strategic partners with varying expertise, pricing, industry experience, and/or personalities. The one common denominator to all your strategic partners is that they represent the same high-quality product/service and customer service as your own business. After all, your reputation is on the line every time you give a client a referral.
One final and important thought on some leads groups’ restrictive rules or recommendation, is that if you are only in one leads group and are expected to only refer to those in that group, you are also limiting yourself from whom you will receive reciprocal referrals. Having an allegiance to only one leads group, limits your ability to expand your sphere of influence. You will want to be in a leads group that encourages you to have more than one referral partner in each strategic business category.
Obviously, you do not want to spread yourself too thin and be in too many different leads groups. Being in a couple is a great idea, as long as the groups provide value for your time and money. The benefit of networking with people who belong to leads group is they understand the value of referral marketing and relationships. As long as those people provide a product or service with outstanding customer service that you would stake your reputation on, then they are great people who will understand the benefits of reciprocal referrals.
SHE Leads Group is an organization that does not frown upon members being in more than one leads group. We are different in many other ways, too. Visit a chapter near you, where your business category is not already taken and experience all the ways we are so different than any other leads group out there.