There’s nothing quite like a business referral you can actually use. These days, many networkers dread the referral process because they don’t get what they want out of it. Referrals feel like they’re happening too fast. You can feel like there’s no trust in the situation. Perhaps your referrals aren’t specific enough or people don’t know how to connect with you. Perhaps you don’t know how to be clearer or how to make the situation a win for both parties. We’ve identified five core foundational issues you need to fix before you can improve your networking and referral giving. Dealing with these will help you curb those issues we’ve mentioned above – for good!
These 5 simple strategies will move you from giving and not receiving to dealing with numerous high quality connections. They will take you from frustrated to achieving. From confused to clear on what you need to do. They will fundamentally support you look at your business networking differently and arm you with the tools to gain more, quicker. Once you’ve grasped these, join us at one of our events to implement them.
- MAKE IT EASY – Do you make it easy for people to connect third parties to you? One of the main reasons more people don’t refer to you is it’s hard for them. They don’t know how to do it. So they don’t connect you with anyone. Are there simple steps they can follow to get in touch with you that are low risk? It can be as simple as having a reliable contact number and email address on your business card.
- MAKE IT CLEAR – We’ve mentioned before that you cannot be all things to all people. Make sure you only target those you can help and those that can help you.
- MAKE IT TRUSTWORTHY – From your very first contact, you’re already building a reputation. Do you pester potential contacts and cause a general annoyance? Establish a reputation from the outset and people will be more likely to trust you with referrals. Give them confidence that you are not going to pester their community to buy off you and that you will handle them with the utmost respect. Your potential referrer needs to trust you and trust you with his connections.
- MAKE IT SLOW: There’s nothing worse than being badgered by a stranger who wants something from you. When you get a referral, don’t just spam them with promotional emails. Have you ever received that email from someone you met for 5-minutes and they sent a 1000-word email telling you how good they are at what they do? Delete. Take your time to find out about whom they are before you decide what you can do for them. Listen and talk with the ration of one mouth to two ears.
- MAKE IT A WIN – Always make sure you’re offering something of real value to your referral and your referrer. Anything less will lower expectations and waste time. Worse, it can put you into the “sleazy sales” camp. You don’t want to be there. Make it worthwhile for your referrers community. Make it so that they would be mad not to connect you with their community. We have just unrolled one strategy that put us in front of 160-contacts because we made it so win:win that the referrers just had to connect us with their communities. And they were impressed with the result because they looked awesome and their community appreciated the efforts and the connection.
To summarise the five points above, you need to treat referrers and referrals like a valued relationship. Put in the time and effort and make sure there is benefit for each other. Do this and you’ll enjoy the benefits of all the referrals you need, for as long as you need them.
If you’ve found these helpful, having a safe networking event to practise them in would probably be hugely beneficial to you. So check out our networking business breakfasts. They are all about improving your networking and getting more referrals. JOIN US.
Check out the events HERE.