The word referral, has many meanings to many different people. The fact is, the definition of a referral is often mistaken. Some believe that a name on a piece of paper constitutes a referral. However, that is a lead, not a referral. If you are serious about networking, then giving referrals is an absolute must. It’s not all about you and what you can get out of a networking group or event. It’s about what you do for the people around you. If you are a taker and not a giver, others will soon notice. You do not want to be labeled as such.
Giving referrals and giving them well, should be your self imposed obligation. It is your duty to give them to others in your network. If you have any reservations, get over them. After all, it’s about connecting people you trust to deliver products and services, to people you know who need them. Therefore, you are the one who holds the power to make that connection complete. There should be no reservations about doing it. While you cannot guarantee the sale, you can dramatically increase the odds of a successful referral.
The key to giving great referrals is in following the five step approach outlined below.
1) Identifying opportunity- This step requires you to listen for and identify a need. You may hear, “ My car insurance rates just increased by 30% for no apparent reason.” There’s someone in your network, who sells car insurance. Here’s your opportunity to bring the insurance agent and the prospective client together. Don’t let the opportunity to refer pass you by.
2) Verify the need- Confirm what you just heard and ask the prospect about his or her time horizon. Then tell them you know someone.
3) Mention a trusted partner in your network- This part is very simple. Just tell the prospect there’s a trusted member of your network, who may be able to help. Mention the name of that person, and tell the prospect why you believe it would be a good fit.
4) Obtain permission- Ask the prospect how he or she feels about being contacted to discuss needs. Be sure and mention that the service/ product provider. Once that permission is granted, proceed…….
5) Deliver it on a silver platter- You’ve laid the groundwork for a great referral. Now hand it over. It’s best to tell as much as you can about the prospect, the need, etc. Also remember to give permission to mention your name. That cements the referral even further. The more you share, the greater the odds of a great and successful referral.
Best wishes on giving, and receiving great referrals.
Posted by Don Talbert Sales and Networking Specialist Centurion Business Coach 859-816-2347
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