Should the Employer pay for a Networking Group?

As a business owner, you need your marketing team to generate a positive return on the time and money you invest in them.  The higher the return on your investment, the more profitable you will be.  The more profitable you are, the more marketing people you can hire, and the cycle continues.

There are scores of options your marketing team can explore to generate business.  They can join a Chamber of Commerce, advertise on a bus bench, call potential clients on the phone, do some direct mail or try social media marketing. 

Any of these can work well if done correctly, but none will generate a higher return on the time and money invested as an EFFECTIVE referral group.  Note the emphasis on effective!  Most networking groups DO NOT work nearly as well as they could, and for good reason.  See our blog on “Choosing the Right Networking Group”. 

Referrals are a great way to generate business compared to other marketing methods for a number of reasons.  Consumers trust recommendations from people they know.  Referral closure rates are much higher, and it takes less time to convert prospects into clients.  The cost the cost to acquire the customer is lower, and customers who do business by referral are not as concerned by price.  Sometimes you are the only call they make.  All of this means better productivity and higher profit margins for your business.   

For the sake of argument, let’s assume a member of your marketing team joins an effective referral group like Tucson Business Club (TBC).   

As soon as they join the TBC, efficiencies and economies of scale are instantly created.  They get to meet with 30+ people at every meeting.  If your marker tried to schedule and attend 30 individual meetings, they would invest more than 80 hours a month to do what they can do in 3 hours at TBC.  

In addition, your company will be top of mind with 30+ strong referring partners who are committed to generating business for you.  You staff instantly leverages the collective connections of the entire chapter. Our members are very well connected in the community.  The potential of their collective connections is incredible.  Your staff instantly leverages those collective connections as soon as they join the TBC.  

As a group, we understand the power of the group lies in the collective connections of all the members, and our ability to leverage those connections to generate business and opportunities for each other.  We also understand that all of us have strategic partners who are in a position to send streams of business to us on a consistent basis. 

For example, an employee of a staffing agency would love to meet professionals who deal with business owners with lots of employees.  Their strategic partners would be in professions who deal with those large employers exclusively, and know the decision makers.  Some great connections might be a(n):

Ö       Business Attorney

Ö       Commercial Property Manager

Ö       Drug Testing Company

Ö       Uniform Company

Ö       Payroll Service Provider

Ö       IT Company

Ö       Employee Benefits Provider

Ö       Business Broker

Ö       Large CPA Firm

There are dozens more.  The point is, we as a group at TBC use our collective connections to connect you with your strategic partners, and to get you past the gatekeepers.  We have tremendous loyalty to each other, because we all get so much value from the group.

The results speak for themselves.  The average Tucson Business Club Chapter generates about $37,000 in gross revenue per member, per year.   That comes out to about $770 for every hour your employee spends in our meetings, and this counts commute time! Try getting that ROI from cold calling or knocking on doors! 

Do yourself a favor; make it mandatory everyone on your marketing staff join an effective referral group.  After all, the more successful businesses are in Tucson, the better off we all are!


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