Local networking groups, especially referral-based ones, can be a fantastic source of ongoing new customers for field services businesses. Get a fresh stack of business cards ready, because it’s time to get networking!
Popular Local Networking Groups
There are numerous kinds of networking groups in most cities or regions—so you can take your pick, and even get involved with more than one, starting with your local Chamber of Commerce. You can join local groups that are part of larger organizations such as Rotary Club International, or team up with local, even niche market, small business groups on Meetup. You may also find local business owner groups on Facebook or LinkedIn (even though they’re virtual, they’re still local, and relationships can be developed offline!).
While most of these types of groups will provide some combination of leadership development, educational and skill-building opportunities, and even community service, networking is a critical piece—and, naturally, the promise of connecting with likeminded professionals (and their networks) what continues draws in new members.
And since business-building is something on the mind of every business owner, you can rest assured that after getting to know you, most of the people you’ll meet will be ready and willing to consider working with your company or referring you to their customers and colleagues.
Referral-Based Local Networking Groups
Organizations like Business Networking International (BNI), LeTip, and BizToBiz are specifically designed to help members generate leads and referrals. The groups tend to only allow one representative from each profession (only one landscaper, for instance) and their meetings usually follow a specific format, requiring members to attend regularly in order to maintain their status with the group.
The way this works is like so: Let’s say you’re a landscaper. When one of your fellow group members (who could be an HVAC guy, real estate agent, or financial advisor) meets someone who needs a referral to a landscaper…you get the referral! Then, when your neighbor, friend, or customer is looking for an HVAC guy, real estate agent, or financial advisor, guess who you can refer them to?
Ideas to Get Face-to-Face In Your Community
No matter what type of professional networking group(s) you join, be on the lookout for opportunities to get your name and number (and website!) in front of the people who might need your services. Get to know your group members and partner with them on any number of initiatives like these:
- Welcome them as your customers
- Leverage your relationships to broker introductions (sort of a “soft” referral)
- Host or co-host networking group/community events, such as lunch-and-learns
- Sponsor a local business’s event or sports team
- Form a small “power team” to pitch larger projects
For more marketing ideas for your field services business, don’t miss:
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