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Sunday, October 25, 2009

DAVE CLARKE: Referral Masters in Bristol for UK & Ireland Referrals for Life Conference

by Dave Clarke

With UK Networking Activity still very much on the Increase many people are asking themselves how they can get better results.

October 27 saw the return of the annual Referrals for Life Conference to Bristol with an array of International Referral Masters sharing their expertise on building businesses with integrity through long-term referral relationships. They each expanded on the general theme of actually walking the referral marketing talk and gave great, practical take away advice.

UK based speakers including Mike Holman, Jill Green, and Sarah Owen were joined by US based speakers Mike Macedonio, Dawn Lyons and Hazel Walker who shared some great insights.

Referral Institute President Mike Macedonio spoke first and highlighted the issue of asking for referrals at the appropriate stage of a relationship - after establishing credibility.

Mike shared this 'nugget' to pass on to you after:

"I do believe that in order to get referrals we need to ask. The key, however, is to know how to ask and when it is appropriate to make the request. When is the right time, you ask? The right time to ask for a referral is when BOTH parties are in the Credibility phase of the referral relationship. Networking should not be a system which ends up alienating your friends and family. Be conscious of the deposits you make into your relationships before you start “writing checks” or, in essence, ASKING for referrals from those you have relationships with."

Read more from Mike on the subject in this article 'Just Ask. Right? . . . No.'

Dawn Lyons and Jill Green spoke about the Power of the Pride and the lessons to be learned from the different roles adopted by a pride of lions around a common goal. Networking is about helping others as a way of growing your business, but it is important to build your pride with others committed to the same approach and with access to the right markets. People who will share your passion for what you do and who you can be passionate about too.

I asked Dawn afterwards if she had any specific advice for TNNW readers and she shared this, "The key to building your own pride is to first realize you have the right to select your pride members. Select wisely! Select pride members who are:
1) professional
2) they understand how to refer you
3) they believe in and are highly skilled in referral marketing
4) they have a want to and a desire to help you
5) you also enjoy referring them to others

Start slow and build your pride to 4-8 members and watch your referral business grow!

Thanks to Dawn for that extra 'nugget'.

Sarah Owen, Referral Institute Master Franchisee for the UK, shared important information on educating your referral partners so they become eager rather than reluctant to refer. She asked some excellent questions to help us discover for ourselves. Have you defined your target market so that you can find people who know lots of them? As you build relationships with these people and some become your referral partners do they really know what you do and where? Could they pass on why you are good and what you love about your business? Do they know how you want to be promoted and who specifically you want to meet. Is there anything else that would make you stand out?

It was great to meet up with Hazel Walker after being connected to her on various Social & Business networks. Hazel spoke about Networking and Sex! She shared the findings of research she has completed with Ivan Misner on the different approaches to networking between men and women. Her insights were all about helping men and women to network more effectively with each other. Some great advice on the subject of asking for referrals and expanding on Mike's theme from earlier. In networking women need to learn from men about asking for referrals at the right time and men need to learn from women about nurturing relationships first.

The final speaker was Mike Holman, Referral Institute Franchise owner and former Golf Professional. Mike entertained and educated us with the lessons to be learned from golf that can be applied to your referral marketing. In golf you generally have a specific target and play 9 or 18 holes accordingly. Unless you have a real vision for your business you cannot see & share the targets that will help you get there. Successful golf involves alignment, balance, timing and practice. It's the same in referral marketing. Your network needs to be aligned with what you do, the balance of giving and receiving needs to be right. Other speakers covered the need for your timing to be right and in the words of Gary Player as quoted by Mike when someone said that was a lucky shot "Yes and you know the more I practice the luckier I get!"

If you get the chance to see one of these or other great presenters at a Referral Institute Event make sure you take along some others too. They are sure to learn more and thank you for it. The more your network learns the more it will benefit your business too.

Until next month ...

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
Get 7 networking secrets for business success

For more information, please visit Dave's TNNW Bio.

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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