In other words, these four steps assume that you met the person through a business networking event, and I'll walk you through how to turn those contacts into potential referral partners! Provide a next step for future contact This is a big one because meeting someone at the networking event is simply the first step toward receiving potential referrals from this person. Now it's time to follow up with that person we just met. Again, great talking to you and if I can help out your business in any way, please let me know. Now if you've properly executed Steps #1 and #2, this message should work 40 to 50 percent of the time. Simply a one-on-one discussion that gives you the opportunity to get to know the other person better, and potentially establish a referral relationship where they pass you business and you do the same. Without the networking, you don't get the coffee connection. The first half will be them talking and you seeing who you know who might be a good referral for them. Consider asking questions like these: How do you go about getting new business? In order to know what a good referral is, you need to know three things: Your ideal client The problem you help them solve Why people have worked with you specifically to help solve that problem So definitely make sure you spend some time figuring that out.
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Ask any entrepreneur about referrals and most will tell you that they are the lifeblood of any business.
And the reason is simple: When you have referrals on a consistent basis, client acquisition is easy.
When you don’t …well, let’s just say that generating a steady stream of business becomes much harder.
Which is why I like this four-step approach toward getting more referrals: It’s simple and straightforward and can easily fit into your day-to-day networking activities.
In other words, these four steps assume that you met the person through a business networking event, and I’ll walk you through how to turn those contacts into potential referral partners!
1. Create a visible identity
In our book Networking Like a Pro, Dr. Ivan Misner and I talk about the idea of a visible identity, which simply says, “How can you differentiate yourself, in the mind of the other person, from everyone else they already met?”
And while that might sound hard, the answer is pretty easy: Get them talking about themselves!
In other words, how many times have you gone to an event and had people just talking about themselves, their business and all the things they can do for you?
For me, a ton.
And speaking for myself, when others do that, it makes them appear self-centered, selfish and not someone I wanted to “talk” to again. So to avoid falling into that trap ourselves, we recommend you ask good questions and let the other person lead the discussion.
Because by keeping the conversation about them, they’ll be less inclined to feel like you’re being selfish and in most cases feel like you’re a great networker! Which is obviously a great start for standing out from the crowd.
Here are some of my favorite questions:
- Where else do you normally network?
- What do you like best about what you do?
- What got you started in this direction?
2. Provide a next step for future contact
This is a big one because meeting someone at the networking event is simply the first step toward receiving potential referrals from this person.
Meaning, a next step for future contact needs to happen.
No problem. Just make sure to set that expectation at the end of the conversation….