About NCR

North County Referrals is a San Diego Business Networking Group with the goal of building  business through referrals. Each category is represented by one business member and conflict of interests are not allowed.

We do this by:

  • Getting to know each other in the network group,
  • Learning more about the other person’s businesses in San Diego,
  • Do this by meeting every week for a networking breakfast meeting,
  • Do business with other members of the network group,
  • Exchange real warm leads by referring your business to a friend.

We do this so well that we have been celebrating our 38th year in 2018! And we still have some of our charter businesses as members!

A referral is: “Introducing somebody you like to somebody you trust”

North County Referrals Board 2021

  • James Spalenka – President
  • Steven Schulman – Vice President
  • Bill DeBerry – Secretary
  • Diane DeBerry – Treasurer
  • Larry Cook – Sargent at Arms
  • Kate Cook – Membership Director
  • Michele Arnold – Speaker Director
  • MaiLan Tran – Social Director
  • Marlene Zagon – Director at Large
  • Rob Butterfield – Director at Large

Guidelines for Speakers

All Network Group members get regular opportunities to do a presentation to the group

  • Presentation should be 10 – 15 minutes, including questions
  • Lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Prepare and Present a short
  • Motivational/Inspirational Moment
  • Provide a door prize
  • Provide a bio (3 short paragraphs)
  • May include a powerpoint presentation (bring own equipment)
  • Demo and or display products
  • Handouts and or Brochures

Become a Member and Grow Your Business


Networking For Qualified Prospects – Do it Like a Pro

By Dr. Bob Kimball

Most sales professionals agree that networking is an essential tool for meeting qualified prospects. Why is it, then, that most of them do it totally wrong? You know what I mean. You’re enjoying happy hour with a few colleagues at the Chamber’s weekly meet and greet event when some guy barges in on you to announce “Hi, I’m Willie from Gulf Breeze Feed Store. Everybody knows that Gulf Breeze is hog-raisin’ heaven, and all the happy hogs get their feed from Gulf Breeze Feed Store.” You take a deep breath, promise you’ll think of him next time your hogs are hungry, and accept the business card he proffers, hoping he’ll go away. It’s pitiful! Such an approach NEVER works. So, when you network, follow these 9 simple steps, and do it right. Do it like a Pro!

Identify your target prospects and the organizations with which they’re affiliated. Almost all your top prospects are involved in industry, community, public service, and other organizations. And chances are good they’re centers of influence in those organizations, taking an active role in activities and governance. Your objective is to directly target those top prospects, ever-mindful of the dozens to hundreds of other qualified prospects within their sphere of influence.

Prioritize the organizations in which you’ll take an active role. It’s absolutely essential to regularly evaluate organizations with which you’re affiliated. Invest more time and effort in those with the biggest payoff in generating qualified prospects and sales leads. Let go of those that sap your time but yield limited results. But in any organization, you’ve got to do more than just show up for the luncheon speeches and happy hours. Take an active role! At first, you won’t have a governance position on the executive board, but you should be able to volunteer to take a leadership role for a special activity or project, providing you an opportunity to demonstrate that you’re an achievement-oriented person who can get things done.

Leverage your active role in the organization to engage your top prospects in conversation. You’re no longer a puppy passing out business cards. You’re a colleague and peer, engaging them as a business professional. A good opening to the conversation? Ask for their advice and counsel concerning issues and challenges you’re facing in your special activity or project.

Get the prospect talking about him or herself. People love to talk about themselves, how they became successful, and why people like doing business with them. Keep them talking! They will not only appreciate being able to brag a little, they’re also telling you about benefits that are important to them.

Ask what it is THEY look for as a prospect for THEIR business. Get them to elaborate on their ideal prospect profile: Age, income, type of business, specific problems or needs, anything that would describe what they’re looking for in a person or business they’re best positioned to serve.

Tell them it was nice talking to them and ask for their business card. Don’t worry about giving them YOUR business card, because at this point they really have no need for it. Just to be polite, they may ask for yours in return, but chances are they’ll do with it what you did with the one you got from Willie of Gulf Breeze Feed Store. No problem.

Send them a qualified referral with your name on it, expecting nothing in return. Here’s where you start networking like a Pro. You’re going to become the referral expert. Whatever someone wants for their business, self, or home, you’ve got someone who can satisfy their needs. The person you send as a referral will appreciate a solution to their problem or need, but even more important, when your top prospects get a referral from you, fitting their ideal prospect profile, they will feel gratitude and appreciation for your gesture. NOW they are receptive to meeting you in person to consider the possibility of a business partnership.

Follow up on the referral you sent them. A quick e-mail will do it. Note the name of the person you’ve referred to them and their contact information, in case your top prospect might wish to initiate contact. By doing this, you’ve also eliminated the possibility that the person you sent as a referral won’t mention the fact that it was you who sent them.

Next time you run across your top prospect, greet them by name. You may wish to add your name to the greeting since it’s possible that they may only vaguely remember who you are. Doing this will also maximize the likelihood that your top prospect will take this opportunity to personally thank you for your referral. This is your moment! Jump on it! Casually recall some of the important benefits they’d noted in your earlier conversation, and suggest you have some ideas that might be of interest to them. Just remember: This is not the time for a presentation, and this might not even be the time to actually set an appointment. It’s enough to agree that you’ll be in touch with them in the next few days to arrange a convenient time to get together. And, oh, you might NOW offer them your business card. NOW they’re receptive to meeting with you, and even if you gave them your card at a previous encounter, they probably trashed it.

Follow these 9 simple steps and you, too, can network like a Pro. Target your efforts, and do something for your top prospects, expecting nothing in return. You’ll get plenty in return anyhow.

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