Business Referrals That Lead to Sales – Your NEW BUSINESS LEADS WILL ROCK YOUR SALES!
If you decide to get involved in a networking group, it can be hard (at first) to get referrals from your other networking group members. What you can do, instead of tossing in the towel and giving up, is to motivate and encourage these people to spread the word about your services and your company. That may seem daunting at first – especially if you are normally the person ‘behind the scenes’ and feel a bit awkward or shy. You may even feel as if you are wearing blinders and that getting involved in a referral group is the carrot dangling in front of you. In a sense, that is true, the leads are the carrots, and everybody but you seems to have a sack full of them.
When business people begin a business and start to develop a referral-base, their first year they only get a small referral percentage. Their credibility is being tested by the other group members in their first year and people have a, “wait and see if they will be in business the second year,” attitude. After their second year, the statistic nearly doubles that of the first year (for some the percentage is higher), and after the third year the percentage goes way up.
Three things to help you to build a successful word-of-mouth based business include:
1 – Cultivate Relationships – If you approach your first year with the sole motivation of getting to know the original members of your networking group, you will be farther ahead than the majority of ‘newbie’s’ in the group. You first have to build a strong foundation with the people you hope will refer you to others, because people do business with people they know and trust. Everybody else just looks like a desperate phony and they will quickly wash out of the group. Seasoned professionals can spot the fakes from far away.
2 – Be Reliable – For the first year you are basically putting in your time and you just have to be credible to the other professionals with whom you want to network.
3 – Give Referrals –After building and seeding your relationships and proving yourself to be the reliable you are, the result is that you will get referrals. Building a word of mouth referral based business is all about the building of solid relationships – from the ground up. This is all because in these groups you have to give in order to receive.
Perform a check on yourself to see how well and effectively you are referring the people in your networking group. You might be surprised to see how little you actually refer or that you always give your leads to the same 2-3 people. Others in your group will notice that behavior. Being aware is the first step to correcting a pattern.
Track your referrals and look for those types of behaviors. The worst thing you can do is run like a rabbit if you are not getting the results you want in a week. Believe me, your reputation will go ahead of you with that attitude. Take the time to get to know the people in your group and help them understand that they are important — to you (not your pocketbook).
Where will you be in one year?