The best type of customers that you get are referrals from your business networking. Referrals look for quality, they look for service and they will not look just a price. Price for services will be key but they are not looking for the cheapest price. As a result this type of customer tends to stay for many years and will not jump from one suppler to another.
There are many types of business networking available, the formal ones which have weekly or monthly meetings and send referrals to each other. Personally, that has never worked for me but it must help many people because there are so many of these business networks out there. To me, a private network of business contacts works much better. If you have a common goal and attract the same type of customer then that works much better. You may not get many referrals but if you do, they hopefully will be a good sized client that will generate some revenue for you. What type of business networking am I referring to? Accountants, lawyers, bankers, private bankers, insurance agents etc. Keep in mind that many people cold call accountants for example and say send me your business because I can do a better job. You may be able to do a better job but that is not the most important aspect of networking. The person will always ask, what do they get back in referrals. I know of a finance specialist who places difficult financing with a variety of institutions. For every deal he gives to one of the customers, he is expecting something back. It is a two way street. unfortunately getting started is the hardest thing because someone has to start the chain of events.
Keep in mind, if someone has a network group and gets referrals, why would he or she give you one for a promise when if they gave the referral to someone in their existing business network, they would get a referral back. To many people make promises. I have been approached over the years by so many people who promise to give me business. I am always up front and state, you send me business, then I will see the quality of what you are sending me and if that works, I will send you business back. Funny, I have never heard from 99.9% of the people who want something for nothing.
Business networking, either on a formal or informal basis works but it must be a two way street.