The mistake that many referral marketers make is asking for referrals too early. Meeting someone for the first time at a business function and being able to click during the business function does not mean you know the person well enough to ask him or her to do something that is usually reserved for close business associates.
With referral marketing, it is not necessarily “who you know” or even “what you know”. It’s more about how well you know the person before you can progress to the next step and include him or her as a powerful ally in your referral network.
This means that you not only must have a wide network of referral contacts but also a deep connection with the most important people within your referral network. First, you need to widen your network. Then you need to spend just the same amount of effort in developing deep communications with each of your potential or actual referral partners.
When the time comes to ask them to promote you or your products or services, you want to make sure you have a strong connection before they make the request. Be sure you are able to tell your contacts apart from your connections among the people in your referral network. A contact is defined as someone you know but you have not had a chance to establish a strong relationship.
A connection is someone who trusts you because you have taken the time to know him and establish your credibility with him. Taking the time to get to know your referral partners will earn you loyalty and support, rather than the person who rushes in and asks for assistance prematurely.
This person will likely recceive little or no support, as he is not yet in a relationship with his referral partner. To succeed in referral marketing, taking time to develop trust and strong relationships is imperative if you are hoping to grow your business successsfully.
To make any referral marketing system work, here are three actions you should undertake in your referral marketing program:
Build Strong Relationships
Take the time to get to know people. Find out as much as you can about their business and their personal likes and dislikes. Ask what their goals, aspirations, interests and hobbies are. Discover what music and sport they follow. The more information you can gather and share, the better a relationship you will build.
Network In The Right Places
Don’t just join any networking group just because someone asks you to. What works for one person may not work for another. Do some research before you decide which network group to join. When you do join a group, turn up regularly to all the meetings, contribute and build relationships before you are tempted to ask for an opportunity to do business.
One of the most powerful tools in any networking group is to think about how you can help other people first. Before a person can be motivated to move your business further, he or she needs to know what’s in it for him or her to help you. Instead of just focussing on how the other person can help you, start thinking how you can help the other person first.
Share relevant information with your potential referral partners. Invite them to other functions that might be of benefit to them and position them favourably with others they need to know. Keep in mind that you want to be in a position where you are always able to give other people something. Practise the law of abundance and you will ultimately discover that givers do gain, and they usually gain much more than they give.
For more tips on how to get endless referrals, click