14 Mar Getting Referrals is a Process
Think about how much time you spend networking. How many groups are you a member of? How many hours a week / a month do you spend networking with other people?
What do you get for all the time you invest? Probably not very much because chances are, you’re not networking effectively. We hope that after a few conversations a person will keep us in mind, remember what we do, and when an opportunity comes their way, they will refer the business to us. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Why do people refer?
This seems to be an easy question to answer. If I sell widgets, and someone who I met comes across a business owner who is looking to buy widgets, they will refer the business to me. Right?
Not likely. Our brain works in wonderous ways. It is given hundreds of pieces of information a day, yet only remembers a few. Usually, information that has an emotional connection is more likely to be stored by the brain.
In most networking conversations we talk about what we do – “I am an insurance agent”; “I’m a coach”; “I’m a professional organizer”. While people might know what this means, the information isn’t memorable to them. They’ve probably met another 5 people in the past 2 weeks who do the same thing you do.
What’s memorable for one isn’t memorable for another
You’re now thinking, “Cindy, I don’t just tell people what I do, I tell them about me, I share my story, but I don’t get referrals from others.” That’s because what’s memorable for you might not be memorable for another person. We are all different. We all have our own set of values. When I hear a story that is relatable to me, I’m more likely to remember it. Knowing what situations or experiences will be memorable by another person takes time to find out. It comes down to investing time and energy in getting to know the other person. It requires finding out what motivates them, what makes them tick. Our brain looks at information from the lens of our life’s experiences. If you tell me a story, my brain is going to search for similar situations from my past. If there is a connection, I’m more likely to remember what you’re saying. It takes time to learn what is going to stick in someone’s mind.
How to start the relationship building process
- Spend more time asking the other person questions about themselves. Don’t worry about taking about yourself. Learn as much as you can about the other person – what are some great memories from their childhood; what are their favorite hobbies and what do they love about it; what brought them into their industry? Get them to tell you stories. Stories are always connected to their core beliefs. Core beliefs are key to understanding what makes a person tick.
- Listen to your gut. Is this person someone you want to get to know better? Is this someone you would refer others to? Is this person genuine or trying to put on a show? Listen to and trust your intuition.
- Connect regularly. Building a referral partner relationship takes time. Referrals come when another person trusts you. Trust has to be earned. It takes time to determine if a person is trustworthy, and for them to see that you are as well. If you’re both committed to growing the relationship, ensure you get together twice a month. Accept that it takes time to build these relationships.
By committing to our SPARK! networking group, you’ll have the opportunity to seek out potential referral partners and have us guide you through the discover conversations to see if it is worthwhile taking the conversation to the next level.
We’re committed to your success. Let us teach you how to build the referral team you need that will help you take your business to the next level with ease. Wouldn’t it be great having others helping you grow your business