Jacky Sherman, Guest Author
As a fellow business person some things about you I know you know. You know you never have enough time for everything. You know that referrals are a great way of winning business and you know networking to get those referrals takes time.
Now some people simply can’t refer you, they don’t know the people you want as clients. What about the rest? The reality is that even if you invest your time in them many of these people will never refer you.
Don’t give up! Focus your efforts on the remaining people who, given the right information and motivation will refer you. Wouldn’t it make great sense to identify who they are BEFORE you invest a lot of your time in them. Here’s a little chart that can help you decide who to focus on.
Make a list of all the people you know who have access to the kind of people you want as clients. Plot them on the chart above.
How do you know where to place them on the chart? You can work it out by watching their behaviours and asking a few key questions to them and others who know them.
SKILL: Are they skillful at relating to and influencing other people in order to gain referrals?
A skilled referrer has a track record of giving good referrals that turn into real business.
• Who has referred you to one of their contacts?
• Does it usually turn into a real business opportunity?
• Who has a good reputation for referring to other people you know?
• Who gets mentioned in the thank you slot at your networking groups?
• Who has referred one of their contacts to help you?
• Who goes that extra mile to ensure you or others are best positioned to win the business?
A skilled referrer spends time getting to know their network contacts well.
• Who has proper conversations when networking rather than just making a sales pitch?
• Who initiates one to one meetings with members of their network?
• Who knows a lot about other people outside of their business interests?
• Who can tell you about the services others in their network offer?
• Who knows who wants to meet who?
• Who won’t accept “anybody” as the answer?
A Skilled referrer gives good information that helps other refer them in return.
• Who gets lots of referrals?
• Who shares information that helps others get to know them as a person?
• Who can explain their business succinctly?
• Who can tell you who they want to meet?
• Who can tell you how to spot an opportunity for them?
• Who can tell you how to introduce them?
• Who has other people referring them to you?
WILL: Are they willing to invest time in helping you?
• Who has referred you in the last 6 months?
• Who has initiated a one to one meeting with you recently?
• Who seeks you out at networking events?
• Who invites you to events?
• Who gives you their full attention when talking to you?
• Who has introduced you to others in their network who might help you?
• Who is generous with their knowledge in helping you?
• Who delivers what they say they will do for you?
• Who has explicitly said they will help you?
WILL: Are they willing to improve their referral marketing generally?
• Who attends training sessions offered to your networks
• Who can tell you about workshops or course they have been on?
• Who was on the last training course you were on?
• Who can talk about books, articles or speeches that have influenced them?
• Who is willing to try different approaches to promoting you and others?
Referral Marketing tips
1. As your time is precious focus your referral marketing around networking with your gold dust. They are the people who are already skilled and motivated to help you.
2. For those with high skill but seem to lack the will to refer to you, check out which box they would put you in right now. Are you presenting yourself as Gold Dust or “not worth it?”
3. If your contacts have high will but lack the skill they are likely to be frustrated about their own results. They may thank you for recommending sources of knowledge or training.
If you would like some help in becoming Gold Dust for your referral sources, Jacky would be delighted to have a conversation with you.
Copyright © 2014 – Jacky Sherman. Reprinted with permission. This article is adapted from Jacky’s blog @ http://blog.ReferralInstitutenn.co.uk. Jacky is the Franchise owner for The Referral Institute, Northampton, England. The Referral Institute is an International Consulting and Training company 100% dedicated to Referral Marketing. She offers a wide range of workshops and coaching to business people who want to generate amazing business through identifying and collaborating with the gold dust in their network. Contact Jacky Sherman, Jacky@referralinstitutenn.co.uk. http://ReferralInstitutenn.co.uk
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