TNNWC Publications And Informational Products Division publishes The National Networker (TNNWC) Weekly Newsletter and The BLUE TUESDAY Report especially for entrepreneurs and early-stage venturers; free weekly subscriptions to these informative publications are available online to all entrepreneurial Members of TNNWC.

Membership in TNNWC is free (it's automatic for any subscriber to any TNNWC Publication) and available at our website. When you arrive there, just click on any of the JOIN US or BECOME a MEMBER buttons or links.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

CONNECTING IS NOT ENOUGH: Ten Steps to a Simple Referral Strategy Part Two – Helping people refer you and following up

Connecting Is Not Enough with Andy Lopata

In the second part of his tips on putting a referral strategy into place, Business Networking Strategist Andy Lopata looks at how, once you know what you are looking for and who from, you can inspire people to refer you and how you formalise your approach to referral generation.

In tips 6-10, Andy will show you:

- How to help others refer you

- The simple structure that gives your message more impact

- Why following up is so important

Helping people refer you

Tip Six - Put yourself in their shoes

Do you get frustrated that you have built a network but don’t get the right quality referrals?

When you communicate with your Champions, you may make a lot of assumptions about how well they understand your business and how easily they can recognise someone in need of your help. You may be surrounded by people who’d love to refer you but have no idea how or who to.

When someone refers you, a conversation takes place that you are not part of. To ensure that enough of the right conversations take place, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your Champions. What do they need to know to:

- Recognise the right opportunities for you?
- Feel comfortable opening the conversation and suggesting your solution?
- Make the other person interested enough to expect your call?

Once you understand how to equip people to refer you effectively, you can be more specific in the way you communicate that information to them.

Tip Seven - Make it personal to them

Many businesses take a general approach to requesting referrals. They will make a broad request to as many people as possible, often along the lines of “If you know anyone else who might benefit from our services….”

This is a less than effective approach. Most people won’t bother; you haven’t been specific enough in your request to make it easy for them. Too broad a request will leave them needing to think about who they know who fits the bill. And many simply won’t do the work involved.

Instead, do the filtering for them, asking them for a specific connection they recognise easily. Look at each Champion individually and ask yourself “who do they know?” If you understand their network and what is easy for them to understand, you can then ask for the right connections, ones that they are comfortable making.

Tip Eight - Get your message right

The more specific the request, the easier it becomes to make it clear to people why the referral is so relevant. On the whole, people are motivated either by desires or by needs. Communicate clearly to your Champions the desires you satisfy or needs you meet and how that makes a difference to your clients. They will then find the ensuing conversation with your prospect so much easier.

Assuming that you are with the majority of B2B service providers, if your business solves problems for your clients, there is a very simple structure to the message you need to share with your Champions. Once you have identified who you would like them to introduce you to:

- Explain what problem they are likely to be facing
- Outline the solution you provide
- Make it clear how your clients then benefit as a result.

Use this model as a spine for case studies that illustrate how you have helped people in a similar position previously, but keep it simple and stick to this structure.

Following up

Tip Nine - Track the results

Word of mouth marketing and referrals should be as close to the core of any business strategy as other lead generation and business development tools. If you don’t track and measure your activity, how can you possibly know what works, what you should shed and how to improve your return?

I share a ‘Referral Book’ system with my clients that helps prompt referral activity, monitor what comes in and track the results. It allows them to work out how best to inspire different groups to refer them, ensure promises of referrals are followed up and measure what business comes in through referral.

A focused approach such as this also ensures that there is more focus on generating new referrals. Rather than leaving recommendation and referral to chance, the business can actively seek them, leading naturally to a much higher return.

Tip Ten - Say 'thank you'

Such an obvious note on which to finish. I was amazed at the amount of people who approached me after one talk I gave on referrals to tell me how they had forgotten to thank people for referring them.

If you don’t thank people, pretty soon they will feel taken for granted and stop referring you. Make them feel good and feel appreciated. If you make the experience of referring you a positive one, they will be more likely to do so again.

Even if a referral isn’t right or doesn’t come off, thank people. Let them know what has happened or why the fit isn’t right, but show that you appreciate the support. Pass it onto someone better suited to follow it up if appropriate, but let your Champion know and make sure they are comfortable with you doing so.

Don’t just thank people the once. Keep them in the loop as the referral develops and, of course, thank them again when it matures into business.

Are you struggling to put an effective networking or referral strategy into place? Do you want to know more about how to ensure you get the maximum possible return from your networking?

Visit Andy's brand new website at for more resources and ideas about how Andy can help you.

Andy's new book, on how to generate an effective referral strategy, will be published in early 2011.

“In this book Andy Lopata demonstrates how so many businesses ignore potentially their most powerful resource – their networks. Andy’s in-depth, practical advice will show you how to both build and profit from the relationships in your network.”

Ivan Misner, NY Times Bestselling author and Founder of BNI and Referral Institute

Andy's Audio program, "Networking in Ninety Minutes," will give you the tools you need to make the most from your networking. Available in CD or mp3 format here.

Andy Lopata's newsletter archive
Andy Lopata's LinkedIn profile
Join Connecting is not Enough - Andy Lopata's Facebook Page

For more information, please visit Andy's TNNWC Bio.

Membership is FREE!The NATIONAL NETWORKER™The BLUE TUESDAY Report™The NATIONAL NEWSPICKER™LEFT, RIGHT and CENTER™Specialized Financing & Credit EnhancementEmerging Enterprises Venture Capital Program™Merchant Payment Processing SolutionsNews Releases, Publicity and Public RelationsBUZZWORKS™ - Branding and Social Media DominationMarket Research, Surveys and PollsAssessment ToolsBLOGWORKS™ - Expand Your Search Engine Presence, Positioning and CredibilityAdvertise with Us!Selected Service ProvidersInternational Connections Service - Go GlobalIntelligence and Information OperationsInstant Mobile Communications, Applications and Training
Visit Our WEBSITE for more!
Capital, Traffic Building, International Customers and unique SERVICES.
The National Networker Publications™ produced by TNNWC Group, LLC
Resources for Business Planning, Development, Capital and Growth

Forward/Share This Article With Colleagues And Social Media:

No comments:

Blog Archive

BNI News Feed

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.


Site Credits:

Featured in Alltop
ALLTOP Business
News Wire. HOT.
Cool Javascript codes for websites  Fabulous Free Calendars

Create FREE graphics at