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Don't Look for Leads at Leads Groups,
Look for Relationships

One of the misconceptions that newcomers to networking have is that they will harvest a lot of new leads simply by attending a leads group a few times. After all, it is a leads group. Usually, this isn't the case. More experienced networkers understand that they go to leads groups not to sell to the people in the group, but to the people that members of the group see as they go about their business.

If you plan your networking activities around the idea that you hope to get referrals to people that group members know, you'll be in a much better position to get leads.

Make sure group members know what is a good lead for you

Because you are not selling directly to the members of the group, your goal should be to educate group members about the type of lead that you are looking for. That way, they can identify likely prospects as they do business, and refer them to you.

Explain the uniqueness of your product or service to the group members most likely to provide referrals

You should also make sure that group members understand what your product or service is, and how it is different or better than similar products or services. That way they can understand exactly what you are selling, and will be in a better position to bring referrals to you.

Find people in your group that are in similar, but not competitive businesses, and explore ways that you can work with them to build business. For example, someone in the home repair business could work with a home inspector to generate leads. Similarly, a web designer could work together with a marketing firm to generate leads for each other.

Usually, you will not be able to give people a good understanding of your business, or establish complementary relationships simply by giving your thirty second or one minute overview presentation. You won't even be able to do it during the open networking before or after the meeting. Use this time to identify people you would like to work with, and then invite them to have coffee or lunch, so you can go into more detail with them.

Attend meetings regularly for best results

Finally, establish your credibility by regularly attending group meetings. You can't expect people to refer business to you if they see you only one time, and you never show up again. With regular attendance, people will realize that you are serious about networking, and you will earn their trust enough to start bringing in referrals.

By following these tips, you will discover that, over time, you will begin to get some good leads that will turn into business for you. And, the best part is that unlike a cold lead that someone thinks of at a meeting, you will receive qualified referrals, where your networking partner has already opened the door for your call.