I know what you’re thinking… there’s another great way to get referrals?
When I’m on the podium or at the front of the class, or in a conversation with a prospect about referrals, I ask the following 2 questions:
“What do you think is the best way to get referrals?”
“What do you think is the 2nd best way to get referrals?”
More often than not, I receive a response from the first question. More times than not, the answer is exactly what I’m looking for, “The best way to get referrals is to give them.”
More often than not, the second question is usually answered with a blank stare as if to say, “There’s another way to get referrals?”
There certainly is another way to get referrals. Are you ready for your mind to be blown? Before I blow your mind, see if you can find the common denominator in the two following stories:
Connection 1: (Names will be changed to protect the innocent) Jane Doe
Jane Doe: “Bobbie, I am a connector. I introduce and refer people all of the time. I don’t understand why I don’t receive referrals.”
I know a number of professionals in Jane’s network and inquired about her activities in connecting the right professionals to the right professionals, and it turns out, she has single-handed built some people’s business for them through her referrals. But I also came to find out that these professionals don’t know how to refer her, as her business is a niche business.
Connection 2: Mike Smith
Mike Smith: “Bobbie, I have been running my business for 5 years. I network, I refer business, I go out to coffee meetings, I meet up for scotch tastings, and take COI’s golfing. I just can’t understand why I am not receiving referrals on a regular basis. I think it’s because of the area I’m in. I think the market is just too saturated with companies that do what we do.”
Honestly, we are all in relationship business in the B2B service based industry environment. You can throw a rock and hit anyone in your specific vertical. It’s not like we’re re-inventing the wheel with our businesses. Communication is key.
I can give you dozens more examples but I think this is enough info to make my point.
Did you notice a common denominator, or lack thereof, in these two examples?
Now… are you ready for your mind to be blown?
In neither instance did either of these two connections actually ask for referrals. Also, they didn’t provide enough information to their COI’s to be able to refer them.
So there it is – the 2nd best way to get referrals is to ask for them. How do you feel about that answer?
I find that most folks are apprehensive about asking. So let me give you a powerful example of how to ask for a referral, as well as a LinkedIn (of course) process that will help you be more specific when asking.
Conversation without using LinkedIn for research purposes:
I want you to know how much we enjoy doing business with your company and look forward to continued success as we continue to develop our professional relationship. I would very much like the opportunity to do business with people that do business the way you do, that you believe I can impact the same way I have impacted your company. Who do you know in your network that would make sense for me to meet? Would you be so kind as to provide an introduction?
Conversation using LinkedIn for research purposes:
I want you to know how much we enjoy doing business with your company and look forward to continued success as we continue to develop our professional relationship. I would very much like the opportunity to do business with people that do business the way you do, that you believe I can impact the same way I have impacted your company. I see that you are connected to the following 12-15 people that I would be interested in speaking with. Would you be so kind as to provide an introduction to the top 3 on the list that you think make sense and with whom you have a good enough relationship to open the door?
(List the names and LinkedIn links of the professionals you would like to meet)
I have even included an introduction that you can simply cut and paste into an email or LinkedIn message, edit as you see fit, or completely disregard and compose your own.
(Provide the brief introduction for your connector to cut and paste)
These can be verbal conversations or digital conversations – that is your preference.
For directions on LinkedIn searches that you can perform on your 1st Degree Connections’ Connections, check out Kurt’s blog, The Effective 1:1 Networking Coffee Meeting. Use this process to search for a list of professionals that meet your ideal client profile with LinkedIn’s filters, such as company size, location, Seniority Level, and much more.
Human nature dictates that (for the most part) we want to help each other. Why not make it easier to be helped? Look at the situation I outlined. You have taken all the work of the plate of your connector.
Your old process looked like this:
- You hoped for referrals
Your new process now looks like this:
- You let your connector know how they can help you – by providing referrals and introductions
- You told them exactly who they know that you are interested in doing business with
- You provided them with the paragraph introducing yourself to their network
- You are helping them strengthen their current relationships by connecting you with them
Average conversion ratios of prospect to client through warm lead generation are 60%. Six. Zero. So if you meet with a different COI/Referral Partner every week, receive (and give) 5 referrals, and close 3, will you hit your quota?
Let me know your thoughts. What are you doing to drive your referral network? How are you the connector?
- Be the first to give to your new business relationships
- Always pay it forward
- Network with purpose.
Good luck and good networking! Remember… It’s All About Leverage.
Our last Social Selling Seminars of 2015 in Philadelphia.
We hope to see you there!
Last Social Selling WORKSHOP in Philadelphia in 2015!
HootSuite Content Scheduler for Content Marketing and Thought Leadership on LinkedIn
November 12th 7:00 – 8:00 AM
Pyramid Club, 1735 Market Street
Trainer: Mary Trapani, Trainer Extraordinaire, All About Leverage
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO OR TO REGISTER: http://bit.ly/1M023gp