We often run around looking to meet and greet, make connections, and if possible, receive some quality referrals for the efforts we put out.
But I always remember the infamous words of my loving mother who sat me down one day and said, “Son, I always want you to remember that while it’s nice to receive gifts, the gift is always in the giving.”
That phrase has stuck with me every day since then.
So the question you might ask yourself is this: When it comes to giving referrals, how am I doing?
Many people I know often say its not easy to find and give referrals to others.
While giving good referrals is an art, there is also a science to it.
The purpose behind giving good referrals is not a mystery, but it does require an understanding of the steps of the referral giving process.
Here is a simple process to support your referral giving efforts.
1. Be a Good Listener
Listen for the needs of people you meet and wish to develop a relationship with. Good referral givers mind other people’s business. Remember, when you speak, you learn what you know. When you listen, you learn what other people know, and have a need for.
2. Use the phrase, “I know someone who can get that done.”
As a rule, people who have a need won’t necessarily ask you for a referral. If they don’t know you, and sometimes even when they do, they may feel as if this would be an imposition on you. When you listen to the needs of others and then use the phrase “I know someone who can get that done,” you are the one who takes control of the situation and creates action.
This is an example of the Triple Win Theory – You feel good about helping others, they appreciate the referral, and the person who you referred appreciates you for thinking of them. In my opinion, there is no better way to build a business relationship.
3. Share Your Experiences About the Person You Are Referring
When you share your experiences about the person you are referring to others, you build confidence and trust. People do business with people they meet, feel comfortable with and trust. Although your referral does not guarantee a sale, it will usually open the door for your associate to begin the relationship process with others.
Remember, people do not want to go to the phone books or online directories unless they have to. While these can be good places to advertise, many people use them as a last resort. A personal referral is the preferred way to do business.
4. Give a Business Card of the Person You Are Referring
Always carry at least three business cards of each person in your network of key contacts. When you meet someone who has a need, be prepared not only to mention a name, but also to pass along the person’s business card. Doing so gives your referral added weight and immediate action, which often leads to positive results.
5. Ask for Calling Permission
Ask the prospect if your associate can call them. This action can make the distinction between a good referral and a poor referral. A good referral has an immediate need and the prospect is willing to accept a phone call from your associate. Even if the individual does not have a direct or immediate need, securing permission for your associate to call gives the individual an opportunity to develop a new relationship.
6. Call Your Associate
After referring an individual from your network of key contacts, call that person to make him or her aware of the referral. Relay everything you know about the prospect you referred. The information you pass on to them may be invaluable. Your information may point out a common thread that can help the new relationship develop.
So when all is said and done, a good referral is when you recommend someone that you know, like and trust… to someone you care about.