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Create Your Own Referral Community


Start a Peer Group and Develop Your Own Referral Community.

Often times, the best source of new clients is personal referrals. Prospective clients are more likely to ask friends and family for recommendations than to trust any advertising or marketing campaign.

Peer groups are similar to lead exchanges, such as BNI (Business Network International) and LBN (Local Business Network), except you create the group yourself, and consequently can establish the rules, expectations, and activities to better fit your goals.

To start a peer group, invite someone that you already know to join. They should be someone who serves the same types of clients as you, but is not a competitor. Make it a condition of joining that they invite someone they know to join as well. As each person joins, they invite another, until the group grows to a maximum of 15 members.

Establish a regular meeting time and place, typically weekly or bi-weekly. Ensure that everyone has an opportunity to describe their services and their ideal referral each week. Often times it’s useful to rotate among the members for 10-minute presentations so everyone gets to know each other’s business a little more in depth over time.

A couple of tips for getting the most out of your peer group:

  • Focus on giving referrals – demonstrate Emerson’s Rule “give more to get more”.
  • Require members to participate in each meeting, and develop a “sub” list of alternates they can invite to attend if they can’t make a meeting.
  • Don’t schedule a meal for the peer group meeting once the group gets above four members.
  • Develop an agenda for each meeting, with a mix of prescribed activities (such as each person describing their specialties and their ideal referral) and open networking time.
  • Encourage members to meet one-on-one outside of the regular meetings, for the purpose of identifying referral opportunities.

Contact us for more tips and tactics to grow your business>>

Joe Marr, President, Sandler Training Ann Arbor

Joe Marr, President, Sandler Training Ann Arbor

Joe Marr has over 30 years experience organizing, training, coaching and managing sales professionals and sales managers worldwide. In executive sales and training positions in the corporate world, Joe was responsible for the technical and sales fundamentals training of over 1000 sales people worldwide in support of a $110,000,000 business. A native of Ann Arbor who attended EMU Business School, Joe's mission is to help business people to get as comfortable and effective in selling and sales management, as they are in the rest of their business. Contact me at: Sandler Training located in Ann Arbor, MI