In business, networking and referrals are mostly common sense, following best practices and having good manners really. Recommending people that give great value, experiences and resources is something we should all be doing. It’s part of the “human referral effect“. Spreading good news about great work creates the kind of energy that comes back to you.
Not too long ago people did business with a handshake. Some people can still do this, but I have witnessed some very good handshakes go terribly wrong. Best to qualify aggressively and know who you are referring to and who is referring to you.
Referral marketing is one of the most effective ways of promoting products or services to new customers through word of mouth. These referrals often happen spontaneously and tend to produce very good sales outcomes. Several business sources report that 65% of new business tends to come from referrals.
1) Tap People You Already Have Results, History and Relationships With
Take those results, that history and your relationships deeper. Don’t be afraid to ask, “Can you suggest some people you know who can benefit from what I do and the results we have gotten?”
2) Thoroughly Qualify People’s Background, Tenure and Results
Determining competencies, qualities, values and intangibles is well worth the effort, especially when entrusting people to others. Search people and companies on the Internet not only for current information and reputation – but any complaints or problems posted online.
3) Be Strategic About Meeting People
Who do you want to meet and who do you want to meet you? I like to call this “sphere-ing.” I look at all the people who have me in common but don’t know each other yet and I try to connect good people to each other that I feel have the right synergy.
4) Take Care Of People As You Want To Be Taken Care Of
Old fashioned nice is so welcomed in business. The consistency of our temperament, attitude, motive and intent gives people a confident sense of what they can expect from us.
5) Offer People a Sampling, Red Spoon Taste of Who You Are and Ask Them to do the Same
Find ways to give people a sampling so they can get a taste of you and your work. Think of the ice cream shop where they give you a little red spoon taste before you buy the flavour of your choice.
6) Blend in Person and Social Media to Open Doors and Engage
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogging and eMarketing used in tandem can speed up, enhance and move the relationship and referral process forward faster than ever before. The world wide Web, technology and social media used for business are the greatest communication advancements since the telephone.
7) Build a Referral Culture and Habit Into Your Day to Day Professionalism
The more you consistently connect and refer good people to each other for the right reasons, the more you will become known as a “master connector.” This is a very good thing to be known for.
8) Don’t Wait for Others to Make the First Move, Be Proactive
If you see a great opportunity to make introductions and referrals, don’t wait for them. Take the initiative, which shows people you are interested in them and, in turn, creates interest in you.
9) Always Thank People for Referrals or Introductions
Acknowledge interactions with people, whether they work out or not, with a timely, sincere thank you privately and publicly. It’s an opportunity to show gratitude, humility and authenticity.
If you want to get referrals and turn them into rock solid relationships, become the kind of person that attracts them, inspires them and rewards people for having that kind of confidence in you.
Right attitude, right action, right referrals, right results. Be sincere and go make one today.
By Deborah Shane