One of the challenges of sales and marketing is being consistent. I know it is the biggest bugaboo for me. Like many, I see the value in having systems in place but in the day-to-day scheme of things it is hard to stay between the white lines. Thus my fascination with the Networking Score Card. It is an easy way to establish some of the habits that make for successful referral development. (If right now you’re wondering, “Score Card?” shoot me a note.)
So in the spirit of “…an apple a day” I am setting out to obtain and document 100 points per week on my Networking Score Card. I will post my point totals here each week and invite you to play along. Check out how I am doing. Let us know how you are doing. Share successes and failures and ask questions, either as part of the discussion or to me directly. Would be glad to do a phone call or meet in person. And as always, remember, it’s OK to buy me a beer.
Watch for Week #1` post. This is going to be great! Who’s in?
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?