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Networking 101 – Getting the best Referrals

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Often when we entrepreneurs try to build relationships within ‘our circle of influence’, we try and ‘sell’ ourselves and/or our products to those individuals with the express hope that they will in turn ‘sell’ us to their respective ‘circle of influence’ and we will receive qualified, consistent and dynamic leads.  This in theory is how it should work.

That said, in order to optimize what our needs are we should add several steps along the way, in order to ensure that the leads that we get are of the highest quality.  Let’s face it – none of us want a ‘bad client’!  So for the next couple of weeks I am going to concentrate on ‘getting the best referrals and/or clients’ from your Networking relationships.

Let’s presume that your product and/or service is unique, (let me say here that it doesn’t matter how many competitors you have, you have made it unique because of the level of service or the value adds or what have you) and it (the product and/or service) has made a profound difference in the life of one of your clients and let’s call her Sue.

In any event, Sue is immensely grateful for the product and/or service that you have provided her and as far as she is concerned you have single handedly literally ‘saved her life,’ and she is not at all shy about telling the whole world about how it is that you came to ‘save her life’.  I have no doubt at all that we all have a “Sue” somewhere in our businesses.

So now here is what you do – at the very next Networking meeting that you go to (and all subsequent ones to), get Sue to go along with you – get her to tell everyone what you sold/did that was so ordinarily extraordinary.

For all intent and purposes, Sue is your dream client, she is your dream referral and everybody can see what she looks like.  An ordinary person – just like everybody else, someone who has the normal requirements – just like everyone else, but to whom your product and/or service has made an incredible difference.  Now think about it for a moment – if your product and/or service has made such a difference in her life, imagine what it can do for theirs?

If your ‘Sue’ cannot manage to go to the meeting with you – there is nothing at all to stop you from describing your ‘Sue’ and her reaction to the difference and/or the actual difference that you made itself.  The more detail you can give them about ‘Sue’s’ experience and the kind of person that she is (in other words your target market) the greater the understanding that your collaborative networking partners will have in recognising your prospective clients when they meet them outside of the Networking meeting.

Hiding your particular light under a bushel when you want to generate referrals that lead to sales is not a good idea.

So don’t be scared to tell people just how great your product and/or service is.  No-one will know unless you actually tell them!