Finding Fertile Soil Within Local Groups

If you’ve been with me the last few days, you’re now ready to plant the seeds that will grow your business, both with people you know and those whom you’re just meeting.

If you missed the beginning of the week, you can get caught up here.

When you’re planting seeds, any farmer knows you have a much better chance of success when you start with fertile soil …

So what is fertile soil when it comes to growing your business by referrals and word-of-mouth advertising?

Organizations, groups, and events where like-minded people gather together to network. Places where you can meet people who Know People.

It could be the following:

  • Chamber of commerce mixer
  • Leads or referral group breakfast meeting
  • Rotary or other service club luncheon
  • Industry conference
  • Niche trade show

You get the picture …

These are networking events where you’re encouraged to mingle, exchange business cards, and look for opportunities to help one another. Sounds like planting seeds to me!

And everyone attending one of these networking events is there for a shared purpose – making helpful connections. That’s some very fertile soil!

Look around and find a local group that matches your interests, values, and goals. Attend a few events, and make sure it’s really a good fit before you join.

You want to be excited about getting together with these people! Anything less will defeat your purpose.

One idea to help you find your ideal group is to ask people where else they network. For example, if you’re at a chamber of commerce mixer and you meet someone you connect with, ask them what other groups they belong to, what other events they attend. If it sounds like something that may be a good fit for you, too, ask for an invitation.

Personally, I belong to the Fresno Succe$$ chapter of BNI (Business Network International), the Fresno County Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Fresno Women’s Network.

I’ve gotten referrals and new clients from each of these groups. They all have a slightly different focus and purpose, which means I meet a diverse selection of people.

Once you’ve selected and joined your group (or groups – why limit yourself to just one?), you can start building meaningful relationships with other members. Don’t rush this process!

All things being equal, people prefer to do business with those whom they know, like, and trust. So give your fellow group members the opportunity – and the time – to know, like, and trust you. Once they do, they can refer you and start opening doors to new clients.

To help you, I’m sharing my system of “5 Quick & Easy Ways to Be Memorable.” Check it out and try some of my strategies after your next networking event.

I’ve still got a few other growing tips tucked into my gardening gloves, and I’ll be sharing more of them with you tomorrow.

But in the meantime, I’m interested in hearing about the groups YOU belong to … or that you’re looking into joining. Won’t you please leave me a comment and share?

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Published: August 15, 2012

2 Responses to “Finding Fertile Soil Within Local Groups”

  1. Michele - I find leaving comments awkward; especially, when I type the whole thing out and then with one giant mighty ruthless sweep of an invisible hand...gone (forever)! might be one shared inkling of a thought attempted to reach the divinity of human existence...but never again. Truth is, my computer skills matches that of my luck in life. It smells like a 200 year old ring of garlic wraped around the neck of a still decomposing body. who would've thunk it possible? NONE. You'd be right!

    Guest (CJM)August 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm

  2. Before my comment was callously eradicated, I remember saying jokingly that I had once belonged to the "HE-MAN-WOMAN-HATERS CLUB". Also, that like Gracho Marx, I too, did not want to belong to any such group that would have me. Not that I wouldn't be grateful, just that they would accept me on the grounds of "Nothing Better". I am not only a person without a country but also am a person without an identity. My HOPES.DREAMS.DESIRES, seem unreachable for fear not so unlike those of Pandora's.

    Guest (CJM)August 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm

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