Yet Another Post On The Topic Of Referrals

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This is not the first time we have written on this topic and it certainly won’t be the last. Referrals are a hot topic. Everybody wants them and nobody seems to think that they are getting their fair share.  Unfortunately, you can’t just show up at a meeting or meet somebody for the first time and expect to receive a referral for your efforts. Referrals must be earned and, like anything worth having, that takes time, patience, and effort. Read W.O.R.K.

Today I would like to examine referrals from a couple of different angles. We will discuss earning them, training your good sources to give them, and a few of the missed opportunities where you can turn general information into potentially powerful referrals. Specifically, we are going to talk about getting referrals in a networking group from other group members.

Start by looking in the mirror….

  • How many referrals have you given others?
  • How have you treated your business relationship with other members? Have you been responsive to their requests? Do you return their calls and emails promptly? If not, what is to make that member think that this isn’t exactly the way that you will treat their valuable referral?
  • Do you report back to the group and to the member about how that referral is going? This is about recognizing the effort of the member who gave it to you and it’s also about saying “thanks”.
  • Are you positive and upbeat in meetings?
  • Have you met with all your other members for coffee or at their office in an effort to learn more about them and how you can be of assistance?

Teach other members how to give you referrals …

  • Have you clearly defined to others what you do and what constitutes a good referral for you?
  • What have you done to help them to help you? Have you provided them with your business cards and materials?
  • Have you taken the time to specifically outline how best to provide you with a referral? You should be requesting that when they do talk to somebody else about you that they also provide you with that person’s name, company name, phone number, email address, and the context of the discussion. You need to also request that they let this person know that you will be calling them. Of course, any true referral that you give would also include permission to use your name.

Other opportunities to gain referrals …

  • A general business lead has the potential to become a referral if you take the time to discuss that lead with the member who gave it. So simple but rarely done.
  • Who else might you know that could refer you on this lead? Other members of the group? LinkedIn or FaceBook connections? Learn to use the advanced search capabilities of both of these social networks.
  • Have you done shout outs and asked others if they might know somebody at an account that you are targeting?

I have a standing offer with all of our group members that, if they want to take the time and make the effort to meet me at my office, I will review my entire contact database with them and make introductions where I can. At last count, not one member had taken me up on this offer. I know of several other members of our groups that have made similar gestures. Perhaps it is easier to whine than it is to act. Certainly, it does require less W.O.R.K.

Thanks for visiting!


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Author: Craig M. Jamieson

Craig M. Jamieson is a lifelong B2B salesperson, manager, owner, and a networking enthusiast. Adaptive Business Services provides solutions related to the sales professional including Boise's best B2B leads groups, NetWorks! Boise Valley. We are a Nimble SCRM and a HootSuite Solution Partner and a Value Added Associate for TTI Performance Systems. Craig also conducts training and workshops primarily in social selling.