What’s the Difference Between a Networking Group and a Referral Group?

When you’re growing your business, and you start looking around at the different groups that you can get involved in, you’ll start to see some differences in the groups you find.

Some tend to be focused more on expanding your network and some are focused more on deepening those relationships.

So how are you supposed to know the difference…more importantly how are you supposed to know which one is the right choice for your business?

Growing your business is a challenge

There’s no question about it. And for all of my focus on networking and referrals as a path to growth, it seems like it’s really easy and all you have to do is to start getting out there and meeting people.

But, like almost everything, there’s a lot of nuance to actually getting the job done that you have to consider as you go about deciding which groups to get involved with, and what you should be expecting to get out of them.

There’s a subtle but important difference between the ideas of networking and relationship building and, as you start to grow your network, you’ll really see that in action.

I’ll dive into this a bit deeper, but the bottom line is that networking groups are typically more events based and are perfect opportunities to meet new people. Relationship groups, on the other hand, are smaller, focused more on group connections and meant to really develop deep connections between you and the other members of your group.

That’s the high level

Now let’s dive into the details so that you can figure out which one is going to be the best option to help you grow your business.

Networking Groups

  • Tend to focus more on events
  • The primary goal is to meet people and expand the network
  • You’ll rekindle connections and deepen relationships as well, but that tends to be secondary
  • You want to maximize your time at these and not get locked into limited conversations
  • Save the follow up conversations for 1-1s after the event
  • Follow up is everything here
  • Pro tip: set a goal for the number of new connections you want to walk away from the event with

Relationship Groups

  • These are all about getting to know a smaller group of people really well
  • They tend to be limited to 10-20 people in the room at any given time
  • They’re often industry exclusive
  • If you put the work into these groups, you’ll find that more of your referrals are coming from the people that you get to know in these groups
  • Pro tip: don’t skimp on the 1-1s with the people in these groups.

Hybrid Groups

  • There are some hybrid groups that combine these two models
  • Typically these groups do one better than the other, so make sure you know where your priorities are and focus on that

Keep an eye out on our channel in the next couple weeks as we get ready to launch an online course and membership program that does a deep dive into all things networking and referrals to help you grow your business!

I hope you got something out of this video transcript.

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We’ll see you next time around!

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