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Question added to topic MarketingAugust 22, 2007

How do I build a business through referrals and word of mouth?

Hello my name is James and I'm a professional handyman. Please offer me some advice on how to grow my business through referral and word of mouth.

Here are three fundamental elements necessary for networking success:

1. Apply the law of reciprocity or "givers gain" approach. Don't approach networking thinking, "I did this for you, now what are you going to do for me?" Instead, remember the old adage, "Give and you shall receive." The law of reciprocity substitutes what you stand to gain from the networking relationship with trust and friendship.

2. Seek diversity in networking. Look for groups that don't target people just like you, in order to broaden the net you seek to cast for referrals.

3. Assume a farming mentality. Networking is like farming in that the process of planting seeds and harvesting the crop is not a quick one. In order to harvest excellent networking results you have to invest the time and attention first.


All the best.


Dr. Ivan Misner

Ivan Misner is founder and chairman of BNI, a professional business networking organization headquartered in Upland, Calif. He is co-author, with Hazel Walker and Frank De Raffele, of Business Networking and Sex: Not What You Think (Entrepreneur Press, 2012).

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