Category Archives: Truth or Delusion

I’m a Good Person, So Where Are My Referrals?

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One of the things in life that we are pretty sure of is, “To know me is to love me.”  Most people who get to know you end up liking you.  So being the lovable person that you are, why aren’t you getting more referrals?  Well, one of the reasons could be that you have the wrong expectations.

When we think of referrals we know we want them, and maybe even how many we want.  But where will we get them?  We belong to referral groups.  We have clients who can refer us.  We network.  We have friends and colleagues.  But identifying these sources isn’t enough.  They must know how to refer us.  And that is our responsibility.

Knowing how to refer us has a couple of aspects: who is a good referral and what is the process for making the referral?  Our trouble starts with our expectation that everyone can and will refer us to good prospects.

It is not reasonable to assume that everyone will be able to refer business to us.  There are many reasons why this might be so.

  • They may not know we are looking for referrals.
  • They may not have contact with our target market.
  • They may not be inclined to make referrals.
  • They may not know enough about us.
  • They may not know enough about our product or service.
  • They don’t know what to say.

If you are expecting referrals from someone, some of the first questions to be asked are, “Does this person have contact with my Target Market?” and “Do they engage with my Target Market in a way that enables them to recommend me?”  There are many people we like and who like us.  And many people ask us to tell them how they can help us.  But many of these people are able to refer us only occasionally and randomly.

Are your expectations for referrals in alignment with your relationships and with the ability and desire of the people in your network to refer you?

Networking is all about learning how to connect with other people in meaningful ways

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When The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret came out in 1994, it was one of the few books in the bookstores that talked about networking. Now there are dozens, if not hundreds. Over the next several years, you will see more and more about the importance of networking to build your business. It is developing into a science as well as a way of life.

Networking is all about learning how to connect with other people in meaningful ways despite, or possibly because of, our technological revolution. Online networking works, but relationships must still be part of the process. Using the internet to exchange ideas, share knowledge, and increase your visibility will be imperative in the coming years. Technology flattens the communication hierarchy and provides opportunities to improve your networking efforts, not replace them. I believe people who understand this will begin to effectively use technology without replacing relationships, to take their marketing to new levels in the years to come.

Dr. Ivan Misner, in the recent New York Times bestseller, Truth or Delusion, says, “We truly live in a high-tech, high-touch society. The more technologically advanced we become, the more important it is to reach out and touch real people in our work – to connect on a personal level with people.”

And yet, as new as all this technological connectivity is, it simply takes us back to an earlier era, when we lived in small communities with our extended families and knew all our neighbors. The old ways have become new again.