Lessons from the Wedding Mafia

One of my clients shared a story with me from his networking group, a chapter of BNI. Ivan Misner, the creator of BNI talks about what he calls "contact spheres".

Here's how it works: A group of related business owners work together to get referrals for each other. Here are some of Misner's examples of contact spheres:

*Business services: printers, graphic artists, specialty advertising agents and marketing consultants.

*Real estate services: residential and commercial agents, escrow companies, title companies and mortgage brokers.

*Contractors: painters, carpenters, plumbers, landscapers, electricians and interior designers.

*Healthcare: chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists and nutritionists.

*Weddings: the caterer, the florist, the photographer and the travel agent.

The story my client told me was about the last group which has been dubbed "The Wedding Mafia". When one gets new wedding business, the whole group gets new wedding business. It makes it very difficult for anyone else to get referrals. It's a tremendous business builder. I have a client in real estate who does this very well also. It's one of the most powerful business building tools ever.

So, my client and I were joking around about me developing a "Small Business Mafia"-a small business consultant, an insurance agent, a financial planner, a printing company, an office supply company, a tax preparer, etc. The more we joked about it, the more powerful an idea I realized it was. And since I do business both locally and nationally, I could form numerous branches of my Small Business Mafia and then (insert evil laughter) I could CONQUER THE WORLD!!!

Whooooaaaaa! Hold on. The key to success of any referral group like this is finding good people. The business owners you work with have to be people you feel completely comfortable in referring your valued clients to. Otherwise, your name and reputation will get dragged into the ditch. Once you've found people you love to refer, be sure they're very familiar with your business and the types of clients you're looking for. Give the group as much or as little structure as needed to ensure that referrals are flowing both ways. Then, go out and conquer as much of the world as you want.

Caroline Jordan, MBA helps self employed professionals build satisfying businesses, enhance their reputations, improve cash flow, and develop additional sources of revenue. For more tips and strategies visit http://www.TheJordanResult.com

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Network World

Dell EMC committed to networking, shares product and partnership plans
Network World
Dell EMC has one of the broadest networking portfolios in the industry. What's unique about Dell EMC's approach is that it's a mix of its own technology, as well as network partners. Also, it offers traditional hardware products and software-only ...

and more »

Forbes

The Secret To Getting More Responses To Your Networking Requests
Forbes
A recent headline in the Harvard Business Review stated, "Professional Networking Makes People Feel Dirty," so if you've ever experienced this reaction when requesting help, you're not alone. But, when digging more deeply into the data, the researchers ...


Tulsa World

OKLAHOMA PRESS SERVICE - NETWORKING
Tulsa World
Let us know what's going on in your community. Take a moment and share your stories and photos about you, your family, your neighborhood, your school or your work. This site depends on your contributions. Submit news and photos ...


Forbes

The Most Productive Networking Comes From Mixing It Up: Four Ways To Add The Variety You Need
Forbes
If you prefer in-person networking meetings, but the person you wish to meet prefers phone calls, you can probably concede that it would be worthwhile for you to propose connecting by phone. However, what if you don't know what the person prefers?


No Jitter

Cisco Expands Intent-Based Networking Portfolio
No Jitter
The “Cat 2k” was extremely popular and currently accounts for about one-quarter of all the networking ports in the world. The refresh opportunity here for Cisco is massive. In fact, the entire Catalyst line is the most successful product line in ...


Forbes

3 Characteristics Of Powerful Female Networking Groups
Forbes
As the guests were saying their thank yous and goodbyes, one of them, a young man, shook my husband's hand and said, “Great networking event.” Even though I was totally beat by that hour, I still remember wondering when, between Barney, the clown, and ...


MIT Technology Review

Digital transformation sparks innovation in networking
MIT Technology Review
According to Zeus Kerravala, founder of ZK Research, “Legacy networks are rigid and operate in their own silo, making it difficult to align changes to the business and to applications with the network. Our research shows that the average time to ...


Professional meetings offer education, networking, fellowship
Healio
Many of us falsely believe that because we can now access industry information online that the days of the live meeting are gone. The truth is, with the challenges faced by our profession, exchanging information, especially in large-scale meetings, is ...


In Vivo

'Cashing In' On Biobank Networking: BC Platforms Aims To Globalize Its Finnish Model
In Vivo
Privately-held BC Platforms is one of the networked groups leading the way in clinical genomics data management. Its CEO tells In Vivo how the company's foundational start in Finland 21 years ago allowed it to create a critical mass from which it is ...


Networking Priority: Aquantia Introduces Action Center and Black Friday Deal on 10G
AnandTech
For a number of years, there has only really been one player in the home networking priority space with software aimed at gamers. Today, that changes: since the launch of Aquantia's multi-gigabit Ethernet cards that allow 2.5G, 5G and 10GBase-T ...

and more »
Google News

The Anatomy of a Brain Cramp; The Retainer and the Lavalava - Communication

In life, you have to successfully work with people to... Read More

Increasing the ROI on Your Networking

Networking requires an investment of time, money and effort. Here... Read More

Online Business Networking: How Personal is Too Personal?

Online networking has opened up some fantastic business opportunities for... Read More

Mary Kay Ash Did It Best... (The Networking Factor)

"The Networking Factor, Everyone is important!" This slogan reminds me... Read More

How Well Do Your Customers Know You?

Know your customer, know your customer, know your customer. Three... Read More

Sticky Situations: Nametag Best Practices

Because a person's name is the single context of human... Read More

A Vital Habit For Selling Big Ticket Items

I hope the title of this article aroused your curiosity!... Read More

Strategic Networking: Take the Shortest Path to Success

Do you use Ryze or LinkedIn to promote your web... Read More

How to Make the Most of Those First 30 Seconds

Did you just meet the most important person in your... Read More

Networking: Is Your Approach Too Self-Centered?

It's a classic mistake by networkers: their approach is focused... Read More

Land the Ideal Job Using Social Networks

With at least 60% of job-seekers finding employment through networking,... Read More

Test Your Networking Know-How

Let's test your knowledge on networking:1)The best definition of networking... Read More

Networking in the Business world

Why is it so important to network with other people... Read More

Power Networking: Getting Your Name Out There!

Today's economy presents some very special challenges to people who... Read More

The Quest for Passive Income

Passive Income, residuals, royalties three ways to get paid multiple... Read More

Community Involvement Networking

It is important for you to join at least one... Read More

Networking

Networking: Is it who you know or what you know... Read More

Building Bridges - The Importance of Being Connected Where You Live

As a Young Professional (YP) in the up-and-coming city of... Read More

Networking: Strangers, Friendship, and Business Growth

You already know that uncomfortable feeling, that knot in your... Read More

Ten Simple Steps to More Customers with Better Networking

Networking is a great way to meet people in a... Read More

You Can?t Spell Networking Without Serendipity

"Fear not to entertain strangers for by so doing some... Read More

The Answer to Your Worst Networking Nightmare

Imagine you just met your ideal client at a networking... Read More

The Promotion Factor: Seven Strategies to Promote Yourself and Your Business by Playing Golf

Effective business promotion is more powerful than advertising. Using golf... Read More

Network Your Way to Success, and Remember: Its Not About You!

Quote of the week"The answer is always no...unless you ask."... Read More

Ask for What YOU Want and Gain More Business

Why ask others for help and what do you gain... Read More