When we go to networking events our intention is to meet others whom we do not already know and renew acquaintances with those whom we already have a relationship. We intend to build relationships with others, discover what they need, and help them find whatever that is, no matter who may have it.
Never prejudge anyone. No matter who we meet, we should attempt to build a relationship because we never know where that relationship may lead. We do not know who is in the other person’s sphere of influence which is always a minimum of 250 contacts. If nothing else we want to know each member of that sphere of influence, those 250 possible contacts.
In the process of building relationships we may pass referrals to others which will help them obtain what they need. We may also refer them to a contact who may know someone else they need to meet in their search.
We should pass the contact information to both parties involved in the referral, and that is called an introduction. If we send the email to both parties involved, both parties can follow up with the other. If they don’t follow up, both of them are deprived of the benefits of the referral.
If we tell someone about a business with whom they may engage, we may not know a specific person to contact. We may only have the business name and a location without any other information. That situation is a lead, and obviously does not carry the weight of a referral. However, the lead may be enough to result in the possibility of a business relationship if the follow up is performed thoroughly.
Leads are not referrals because they are not detailed enough. They are not specific as to definitive contacts within a business, and we don’t usually cross introduce both parties in the lead. Obviously referrals are more significant than leads, but never discount the possibility that leads may turn into great referrals. We should be grateful to the party who offered the lead or referral, if it succeeds in any business for anyone.
Our networking partners are very busy operating their businesses. When they provide successful referrals or leads to us, we should recognize their efforts for the fact that they have helped put funds into our pockets and helped our business to prosper. They deserve the gratitude and thanks that we give them for their efforts. If we acknowledge these efforts they will continue to be our marketing partners. We should reward them.
Leads and referrals are the basis of business success. Without them our businesses will die and close down. With them we can prosper and succeed beyond our wildest dreams. We must acknowledge and express gratitude for all leads and referrals from our networking partners. Through these offerings we can never cold call again.
Have you offered any leads or referrals to any of your networking partners recently? How did they react to your efforts to help them? How did you respond to their leads and referrals that they give to you? Referrals and leads can be the impetus for our success in our business, but only if we follow up and market ourselves well. Please leave your comments here, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.