Get More Business Referrals

“How can I get more business referrals?”

Communication-man & woman discussingHow many times have you asked – or been asked – that question? Have you joined at least one networking group for the purpose of getting business or referrals?

First of all, you have to have the right mindset when approaching the referral issue.

Not everyone you meet will have someone to refer to you.

  • And not everyone will want to refer to you if they have a close relationship with another person offering the same services.

So how do you get what you are seeking? Develop relationships. Don’t just ask for referrals. That is similar to the “see me, buy me” approach to sales. People want to know and trust the person before introducing him to their faminly, friends and clients. You have to earn the right to access their contacts.

Here are seven Success Strategies for referral networking:

  1.  First, have a great 30-60 second commercial. Rehearse it until it rolls off your tongue effortlessly.
  2. Don’t try to tell everything you do in the first breath after meeting someone.
  3. Tell why you are different than others. This is does not mean putting down the competition – just sharing what is unique about your business.
  4. When you ask for a referral, be specific. Tell them what you are seeking: the type of client, size of company, precise department or contact.
  5. When a person has a connection to a company you want to approach, ask for an introduction to one person, using their name and title.
  6. Also be specific about who you would like to have referred to you. Not everyone is the right client for you.
  7. Share the language you would like to have shared. You are training them to use the keywords that will interest their contacts.

During your networking events, spend enough time with each individual to learn about them. Make them the center of the conversation rather than focusing on what you want. 

  • It is important to ask others what type of connections they are seeking.
  • Uncover any problems they are having and see if you can follow up with a possible solution or connection to help them.
  • If you can help them solve a problem or connect them with a referral, they will be more likely to return the favor.

Remember, networking for referrals is not just about meeting your needs.

Your goal is not just to get referrals. It is to build relationships so others will want to give you names and contact information of people who could use your products or services. By helping others get what they need, you will be helping yourself in the long run.  When asking for a referral, assure your source that he does not have to personally introduce you or be involved. If you can get the contact information from him, ask for permission to use his name when you make the call. Be sure to send him a note or call to say thank you after you have made the connection. Also establish a referral tracking system so you can keep a record of who made the referrals and the outcomes.