Asking for Referrals
What is the Definition of a Referral?
An open door to discuss your business.
BNIs Dr Ivan Misner defines a referral “as the opportunity to do business with someone who is in the market to buy your product or service. It’s not a guaranteed sale, but an open door to discuss your business”.
What is a referral?
It’s not as simple as it’s sometimes made out to be. We leave school/college and go into business knowing little about referrals, because referral marketing is rarely part of the curriculum. We know what a great thing it is to get a referral, because it generally means lucrative business with a reliable client. We do understand that referrals are the best kind of business. What we don’t fully understand is how to make them happen.
Asking for referrals in your business network
Your Network can be a valuable source for these referrals. However, you do have to clearly ask for specific Referrals. No generalisations, as in ‘anyone’ or anyone in your county’ – be specific. And make it easy for members to give them to you.
In order to be able to successfully ask for a referral, you do need to build up a relationship with each member. This takes time, lots of it. Show some genuine interest and get to know these people and what they want or want from you anfd the network.
121s – So do 121s and get to know each other. This focused time is so important. If you do not do them you will not get to know, like and trust each other. Remember Networking is more about farming than it is about hunting.
10 Minute Presentation – Use this to show all the members what you do, what problem do you solve and for whom. Show examples of your work, case studies and testimonials.
60 Second Presentation – Use this time mainly to focus on who you want to be referred to, by giving the exact name of the company and ideally the contact. And say why you want to be referred. What can you offer this contact?
Give Referrals – Members will want to give you referrals, IF you give them Referrals. It is the Law of Reciprocity or payback. Why you may not be getting referrals.
How you turn up at your network builds up a picture for the members. Do you contribute to the network, do you add value, do you refer, do 121s, do good presentations, bring visitors or assist in running the network. And are you a positive or negative influence – nobody want to spend time with negative people, regardless of what they offer.
You may have better relationships with some members than others, which is fine. Focus on the ones that are likely referrers, but remember everyone knows about 200 people, so any member could know your target customer. Do not dismiss any member or do so at your peril.