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Networking 101 – Ask for Referrals

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In his article entitled “Not Getting The Referrals You Want . . . Then It’s All Your Fault”, Dr Ivan Misner, puts the blame squarely at your feet and quite honestly I agree with him.

One of the first and most important things that you have to do when expecting people to refer you is . . . . to ask them, and not just once either, keep on asking or make sure that people remember you or that you are the first person who comes to mind when they encounter or engage with someone who needs suppliers of your particular product and service. Do this by meeting with them at any other Networking meeting that you may end up both attending, or keep in contact by means of a newsletter, or phone them, or refer someone to them, or meet them for coffee to catch up. Doesn’t matter what you do, just ensure that they are reminded frequently, that you are still around and that you are ready to do business or add value to their ‘circle of influence’.

Make sure that people in your Network know that you take in an interest in their wellbeing and that you are not just interested in them for supplying referrals for your well being. Pass on snippets of useful information or ideas or introduce them to people who may be able to assist them or do business with them,

Secondly, it’s no good asking people to refer business to you if they are not sure about what it is that you do. They need to know what your business is all about, they need to understand, at the very least, the fundamentals of what you sell, be it product or service. They need to understand how your business can make a difference in the lives of others. Be careful not to give them too much ‘technical’ information at once but rather give out ‘bite’ sized bits of information that is easy to understand. Don’t forget to let them know about any new or additional products or services that you add to your business, as you add them. This will also help you to ‘keep in touch’ with them and keep them excited about what it is that you do.

Horror of horrors, if the person that has been referred to you has only used you once and then you have never heard from them again . . . . perhaps it is not because they are fickle, perhaps you should be looking inwards at yourself. Did you close the sale properly? Did you deliver and also important, did you deliver on time?

The time to make that call or send that mail is now.