Although it is important to build up a database of contacts and to grow your business network, it is not necessarily the bigger the better when it comes to your referral group.
Briefly meeting someone and exchanging business cards, or connecting through online platforms such as LinkedIn, doesn’t really build trust, nor does it guarantee any real commitment to share business referrals.
A referral group works best when the people in it make an effort to meet on a regular basis and to get to know each other and each other’s business. These are the crucial starting points for building up trust and ensuring that group members are committed to generating referrals and new business opportunities for each other. So there are 3 simple steps to take when forming a referral network and they will largely determine the size of your group.
With these steps in mind, the bigger the group, the more difficult it can actually become to give and receive good referrals. By forming a smaller group of people you know, trust and actually like, you can work together far better.
So having a large network is not necessarily the key to a successful business referral group and the focus should be on the quality of individuals over quantity.