There is a difference between receiving lots of referrals and attracting quality referrals. There is nothing better than word-of-mouth recommendations which speak volumes and are a highly effective, low-cost form of marketing. In this fast paced world we are living in, every day we rely less and less on the Yellow Pages as a tool to find business services. Everyone has noticed how dramatically the size of the Yellow Pages has reduced over the years, right?
A useful initial question to ask yourself is; would I prefer to receive quality referrals or quantity referral? Believe it or not, you can have an influence and attract quality referrals. A quality referral is a valued potential client in need of your business services who is a close match to your ideal client profile and has been introduced by a colleague.
The first step towards quality referrals is to make good communications. If you do not clearly identify and communicate your business services to your target audience, you cannot expect to receive quality referrals. Make a list of the characteristics of your clients and the benefits of your services that meet their needs. This will help improve your communication of a decisive direction for your colleagues to make the right introductions for you.
Some net workers forget that it is also important to give as well as to receive. To encourage referrals, you need to give referrals so do take time to understand your colleague’s target audience profile. For mutual benefits, consider arranging a coffee meeting to focus on giving quality mutual referrals because it is a two-way street. Don’t keep too close a score on how many referrals you receive based on how many you give but just keep a positive focus.
Quality referrals can also be influenced by positive first impressions. First impressions really count. When you look successful, you will be viewed as a successful business professional because it demonstrates how you perform in business. A diligent, professional reputation goes a long way. Nobody wants to refer a business whose services are not professional.
Every time you recommend another business their quality of services will be a reflection on you. At a networking event it takes about 30 seconds for a delegate to make an impression about you. Make efforts to be memorable. Try to make your conversations interesting. Also ask key questions so that you can learn more about their business to understand if you have relevant contacts in your network to make referrals to them.
Building trust in this way is fundamental if you want to build a network of quality referral contacts. In business we are likely to do business with other professionals that we trust. Try also to demonstrate confidence. A business professional that is confident will attract confident referral contacts. A shy referral contact simply won’t be as effective in attracting quality referrals.
Regular contact with your referral contacts is good so when you receive referrals that should not be the end of the road of communication. And remember that two way street? Do take time out to to find out updates about their business too.
Delivering on your promises is vital when building relationships to attract quality referrals. It shows that you are reliable. If you promise to do something for a colleague, don’t delay, do it as soon as you get to the office. This prevents work overloading or forgetting to follow-up.
Above all, show your appreciation when you receive a quality referral, keeping things simple by just saying thank you.
Written by Bella Rareworld, Corporate Networking Strategist,
BellaNetworking Events. We help international clients by sourcing lists
of UK networking events to attend whilst on business in the UK. We
specialise in helping clients network with their target market or
industry. Bella Rareworld has 60+ testimonials on Linkedin
at http://www.linkedin.com/in/rareworld – For more info visit
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