How soon do trust relationships in industry focused, business development groups form so referrals and advice start to flow?

 In Business Development, Lead Generation, Networking

I’ve been facilitating newly formed industry / client focused business development groups for the last several months. These are new small groups of non-competing professionals who all call on the same client base. Everyone is building relationships and getting to know each other so we can accomplish common goals of sharing “best practices” advice, sharing referrals and performing strategic partnerships.

So you may be asking: How’s it been going? What do the meetings look like? What’s the best way to spend the time we have at each meeting? This has been my clear take-away based on averages from about a dozen groups over the last several months:

1st Meeting: 85% getting to know each other, 10% sharing “best practices” advice, 5% passing concrete specific referrals.

2nd Meeting: 75% getting to know each other, 10% sharing “best practices” advice, 20% passing concrete specific referrals.

3rd Meeting: 60% getting to know each other, 20% sharing “best practices” advice, 20% passing concrete specific referrals.

4th Meeting: 20% getting to know each other, 40% sharing “best practices” advice, 40% passing concrete specific referrals.

As people build relationships of trust and get to know each other, they become more comfortable sharing advice, accepting advice and sharing referrals. By year end I anticipate all our time will be split equally between the three goals groups members value the most: advice, referrals and strategic alliances.

Jonathan Rosen is Founder of Collaberex www.collaberex.com which forms and facilitates business development groups in the NY Metro Area.

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