Well, from a points perspective, last week was pretty good. This was mainly due to an event we did on Thursday. Of the 165 points for the week, 99 were related to the event. That’s a good Score Card but those points are only as good as the follow up.
Social events are an important part of my referral marketing strategy and one of the main ways I make new connections. It is how I make it easy for my referral partners and clients to refer me. Lots of planning goes into events but they can be very productive from a relationship building perspective. The Certified Networker Night on Thursday gave us as opportunity to recognize clients, provide a speaking opportunity to a former client and important relationship, renew old connections with current and former clients, and meet new business people who could either become prospects or good referrals or connections for members of my network. I was also able to use one of my clients as the caterer and thus promote her business while giving her business.
So the proof in the pudding will be in the coming weeks. How many opportunities did we create and how many of those will turn into business, not just for me but also for my clients who attended the event?
I’ve got house guests coming on Friday, my brother, Paul and his wife, Betsy. They are easy company and I’m really looking forward to the visit. But have to keep the focus this week and set things up for the next. They’ll be here for 10-11 days so I’ll need to be creative with my marketing and communications to not let things drop while remaining a good host. When you are the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, these are the types of things that can put a big dent in the pipeline if you let them. We’ll see how I do.
Last week being a short week would offer a great excuse for not attaining 100 points. But we’re in a no whining zone so we’ll take what we get.
I was able to make two referrals, one that I think will lead to follow on business beyond the initial need. I also had a number of 1-to-1 meetings with referral partners and potential referral partners that are leading to appointments. My strategy meetings were particularly good last week and this week I’m following up on a number of ideas that came up in them.
As usual, I tried to reach out to my C’s and P’s to stay in touch. Phone calls and emails, as well as a few taunts on Fit Bit. One thing I haven’t figured out for point value is Linked In connections, thank-you’s and responses, and endorsements. I’m trying to be more aware of this activity and what the results of it are. LI can me an important element in your marketing strategy so it’s worth keeping an eye on effort and result.
So that was the week that was…and this is the week that is. So I’d best get at it. Got to top last week’s total and add some results to that Score Card. Give me a little something to celebrate this weekend.
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?
When The Worlds 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.