You've already spent time building your profile and getting recommended by the businesses you know. With that reputation, you are now ready to start introducing yourself to potential clients or referral partners but maybe you don't know who you should be networking with. This article is meant to help spark some ideas on the types of businesses you should be networking with to help you grow your business.
The members who find the most success are those that spend time building relationships with the following types of businesses:
Businesses that can help you reach your ideal client.
A marketing agency or web designer can build relationships with accountants that often deal with new businesses. Whenever the accountant has a client who needs the marketing services, they’ll think of the marketing agency as someone they can refer to that client.
A gym can build a partnership with a smoothie shop to help each other reach each other's health-conscious customers by organizing events or promotions together.
Businesses that offer services often needed by your customers, that you don’t offer.
If you find that your customers often have a need for accounting services to help them incorporate and manage taxes, pay it forward, and refer those businesses to that accountant.
If people who walk into your gym are often asking for a good salad or smoothie place nearby, build a relationship with the salad place across the street and partner to offer discounts to your customers.
Ultimately building relationships and referral partnerships that help both businesses should be your goal, as it can become a consistent source of referrals for years to come for both sides.
Businesses with large networks of their own.
Imagine if the accountant or the owner of the smoothie shop across the street that you decided to partner with really trusts you and happens to be connected to thousands of other businesses. Your top of the funnel for referrals has now opened up dramatically given that there is potential to be referred to a lot more businesses and referral partnerships from one relationship.
Businesses with a strong reputation.
If you send a client to an accountant, and they don’t do a good job, your reputation will take a hit. That is why you want to connect with businesses that are highly recommended by their past clients and networks as you’ll be more comfortable referring people to an accountant you can trust.
Your ideal client.
Of course, if you sell to businesses, you want to connect with the businesses that fit your ideal client. While searching for your ideal customer is easy to do on Alignable, you’ll want to use the information available to pre-qualify a business before you spend a connection credit on an introduction.
If you’re a web designer, for example, you can look up a business profile and check if they have a website, if it’s updated, or if there are opportunities for you to help them improve it. All icebreakers you can use to start a conversation with that business that can help you increase your likelihood of converting them into a client.