Referrals: Be Patient!
Do the right things and they will come ...
Posted by Jacky Sherman on 01/09/2021 @ 8:00AM
I've been networking for my business for many years now and observed and worked with people from all sorts industries and yes, even had my own highs and lows ...
If you're moving into a new market and looking for referrals, then be patient!
photo by 'rawpixel.com' on unsplash
The thing that strikes me most is how variable people's early success is. Some people just make it look so easy. They start their own business and referrals seem to flow effortlessly.
Others struggle on for ages, getting increasingly frustrated and often disappear within the year with their savings or redundancy money gone.
An obvious reason is that some products and services are easier to explain than others. For instance, it may be easier to refer a sales trainer than an account-based marketing specialist to a busy traditional manufacturing MD.
But that doesn't explain why, even when the complexity of their offering is similar, some people appear to find it easy whilst others struggle to get referred.
My observation is that early succeeders have three things going for them before they even start:
They know their market thoroughly and can clearly identify who their clients are and how what they offer is something these people want to buy.
This means two things. First, they know who is likely to buy their offering and secondly, they can explain it to others. After all, if people don't understand what you're offering and who wants to buy it, how can they refer you?
They already have some strong relationships with people who can introduce them. This significantly increases their early marketing reach.
Marketing reach simply means the estimated number of potential customers you could reach through a specific campaign; in this case, through your contacts. The more people you know who have contacts with your chosen type of clients the more referrals you can get.
They already have a track record within that market. They may not have been doing exactly what they are doing now, but they have strong personal credibility with both their referrers and their potential clients. This gives their contacts confidence to introduce them straight away.
If you're setting out to build your business through networking then apply a little strategy on these three points.
Research your market thoroughly and start where you already have credibility. That way you will find you're much more comfortable talking about what you have to offer. You can always grow outwards once you're established.
Analyse your database, address book, social media and your memory and make contact with the people you already know who could help you. Start with those you know well.
You'll be surprised how many people are supportive. If you've taken the first piece of advice and started in an area where you already have reach, then you will know people who can introduce you.
"If you are breaking into new territory or a new market where you presently have no reach then expect this to take some time!"
You will have to establish a new network and build your relationships from scratch. This is entirely possible, but you should expect it to take time, money and effort on your behalf. Be prepared to support yourself through other means while you do so.
And be patient. I've seen many a person give up too early. As a rule of thumb if you're following best practices in nurturing your potential referral relationships and brief them well these early supporters will come good.
It's a fine line between giving up too early and continuing down the wrong path. I've written two other blog posts that go into a bit more detail about why you may not be getting the results you want.
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 07970 638857. Let's have an initial chat over a coffee and see how I can help you.
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