Business referral networking is another strategy that actually can help you create an online presence that improves your visibility and helps you get found easily. While the term “referral networking” implies face to face interaction, the fact of the matter is that “networking” is all about relationships. Those relationships can manifest themselves in many ways. They can be built completely online or developed in the more traditional face to face manner; it doesn’t matter – they are still relationships and play an important role in generating referrals and building your online presence.
Internet technology and the advent of “social networks” like Google+, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter all provide opportunities to improve your referral marketing and networking efforts – not replace them. By now most of us have heard of these “social networks”, but most of us don’t use them to their potential. People and businesses that are able to understand and embrace the online social network concept are more able to effectively utilize that technology to greatly enhance their marketing reach and effectiveness. Using the internet to exchange ideas, share knowledge and increase your personal and business visibility is imperative today, but in no way is it intended to replace personal relationships, just enhance them.
The Process is Important
While the goal of any good online marketing strategy is ultimately to generate sales. The savvy marketer should clearly understand that the goal of using any of the online marketing strategies discussed herein should not be the sale itself, but the process by which the sale is generated. Understanding the process itself and that the goal of the process is to increase online visibility to make it easy for people to find you and want to contact you is real goal of this strategy.
Online business referral networking is like fishing with a net. The fisherman isn’t looking to catch just one fish and neither is the online referral networker. The fisherman knows that fishing with a net is a process that will enable him to catch many fish over time. Similarly the online referral networker should know that the process will generate many referrals over time.
The Importance of Referrals
The importance of developing your business referral networking strategy can’t be overstated. Research shows that more than 91% of adult consumers often seek referrals or recommendations before they purchase products and services. Research also confirms that these same consumers will spend more money purchasing products and services from people they trust and they are using the Internet to help them find those people. In fact, if you and your company can connect with your customers on a more personal level online, you can more quickly develop those relationships and trust that lead to brand recognition and customer loyalty.
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