Do we know what a proper business referral is? Is it when we tell one of our partners, say Fred, about Sally, who needs whatever it is that Fred has to sell? Is it when we give to Sally one of Fred’s business cards? Is it when we tell Fred that we heard of a business, Sally’s, with which they might be able to do business?
These are not referrals. A proper referral is when we tell Sally about Fred’s
business, and then give Sally all the contact information for Fred. Then we
tell Fred all about why we think Sally would be interested in Fred’s business
and give Fred all the contact information for Sally. We also tell each of them
that we want to know what happens with the referral, and we follow up if we do
not hear back.
When we hear back from Fred and Sally that they have contacted each other
and have met to discuss their offerings and needs, we ask about the results of
the meeting. If they actually do business with each other, that is great. If
they do not do business with each other, we want to know what went wrong so
that we can better gauge our referrals in the future.
We do not “sell” Fred to Sally or Sally to Fred. We recommend that they meet
and discuss their needs and offerings with each other. We are not the marketing
representative for either one; we are the person who puts them together so they
can communicate with each other.
Of course we need to know enough about Fred and Sally so that we can make
intelligent referrals to both. We also need to know that we can trust both of
them to be professional, passionate about their businesses or lives, and
personable towards others. We must be assured that they will treat each other
professionally, even if they do not do business with each other.
How do we reach this level of trust? Referrals are a two way street. We must
get to know each of them before we can refer them to each other. We must be
able to trust each party and believe that they will do right by the other party
in the referral. After all, it is our reputation on the line here; it will be our
fault if one party does not treat the other one professionally.
Hopefully, our referrals will show to our networking partners that we are a
person who is willing and is capable of making their lives better, both professionally
and personally. After all, referrals can work for our personal lives also. Hopefully,
our referrals will result in our networking partners passing referrals back to us
also. That is the essence of karma.
We have an obligation to refer our partners to each other. Get to know them
and pass referrals back and forth with them. Use their services or products as
gifts to family, friends, prospects, and clients. Also, give them the gift of
solid, valid referrals that will enhance their bottom line.
If we are lucky enough to get the benefit of someone’s referral, or their
consultation that enhances our business, thank them, letting them know that
their effort is appreciated. Then go out and pay them back with a referral, or
consultation, of our own. Sometimes the best referrals that we can give may be
our own business given to one of our networking partners. This is Gratitude
Give me feedback, suggestions, and comments here. Call at 360-314-8691, so we can get together and chat,
or send an email to Jim@SOC4Now.com.
Maybe we can contribute our experiences to this blog. I answer my phone, or I
return voice mails and emails.