Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


Networking Skills: How To Get Referrals For A Second Business

It's easy when you follow the VCP process ...

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In the last month, four people have asked me about how hard it is to start a second business in the same business community ...

It's relatively easy to get referrals for a second business if you have the right networking skills!

It's relatively easy to get referrals for a second business if you have the right networking skills!

copyright: jacky sherman / asentiv

Their challenge is how to get people to see them in this new role and think of them in a different context. For some, there is a clean break from their existing business whilst for others, it's about making a shift to adding in the new venture.

"Do they need to build a whole new network?"

If the new business is for a totally new service or product or you're looking to enter a new market, then to get business by referrals will mean developing new contacts in that area. Any new referral relationship goes through a three-stage process called VCP, which stands for "Visibility", "Credibility", and "Profitability"

Firstly, you need to be visible. You can't have a relationship if the other person doesn't know you exist. Equally, in business, you can't have a referral relationship unless you know what each other does. The relationship will go no further unless you build credibility. Who's going to refer you before they trust you and know you know what you're doing? Only when that credibility is two-sided will you both engage fully and start making quality introductions.

So, surely when starting your new business you have to go through that process all over again? I want to suggest to you to save time and begin at the end. In fact, think of this process as a cycle rather than linea where you are already engaged.

Start with the people who you already have a profitable relationship; those who are helping you with your current business. Get them engaged with your new venture long before you actually start. Ask them to act as advisors as you set up your new business. You already know and trust them and their advice and feedback will be invaluable. More than that though. The more they are involved in setting up your new venture, the more they have a stake in your success. After all, they helped shape it and people like what they shape to be successful.

Then, when you are ready to start trading, they are already primed to help you and they have made the shift to seeing you in this new way. What you are trying to achieve, what you offer and who you want to meet. They may not know many people in your target market, but if they are active networkers, they will be able to introduce you to others who can help.

More likely, you will get a surprise at who they know. They never introduced you earlier because it wasn't relevant to what you were doing then. Once they've identified people to introduce to you they can endorse you to these new people which will shorten the time you need to take to cross the line and become credible in your new venture.

Now, you've completed the VCP process once see it as a cyclical process and it's time to go around again. Each cycle will deepen and broaden your network and put you in the best position to succeed when introducing a new service into your business life.

"Would you like to know more?"

If you'd like to learn more networking skills, the VCP process, or are starting your own second business then do give me a call on 07970 638857 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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07970 638857