Let's be clear; there are all sorts of business referrals and many different approaches to networking. A genuine referral is a recommendation given by a person you know and trust to someone who is actively looking for the product or service you provide ...
If you would like to see effective referral networking in action, come visit BNI Sterling!
In sales terms, there's a very good chance they will want to do business with you. More importantly, you will want to create a good impression and deliver excellent work because the person who gave the referral has placed their trust in you.
Referral networking takes place when like-minded business people meet and actively work together to find good quality referrals for each other. You are accountable to the people you meet to follow up on referrals they give you and to acknowledge the contribution they make to your business.
"It all sounds good, doesn't it?"
Many business owners now appreciate the power of networking and referrals. During the pandemic, many businesses managed to survive and grow, thanks to their continuing online referral networking activities and the support of the people in their team.
If your doctor recommends someone with specialist knowledge or skills you will probably contact them because you have confidence in their expertise. You will believe, rightly we hope, that the recommendation has been given based on your doctor's personal knowledge and trust in that person.
The same is true when you are part of an effective business referral network. You will know, like and trust the people you meet. If you don't, then that network might not be the right one for you.
You will only put your own reputation on the line with your customers, contacts, friends and family when you have confidence in the person you're recommending. That's what makes referral networking so powerful.
When a trusted professional refers your business to one of their customers, it immediately builds more trust and respect for your business in the mind of the customer. This means they are much more likely to do business with you and to continue to work with you in the future.
Figures show that nine out of 10 customers trust referrals from people they know - that makes your job much easier. Your sales cycle will be shorter and the lifetime value of your customers will increase. That's gold dust for your revenue stream. You won't spend months or even years building a sales funnel in which only a very small number of leads are likely to become customers.
"And if you're looking for ongoing referrals?"
People who have already benefitted from high-quality referrals are more likely to pass on referrals to their contacts. Your satisfied customers are much more likely to refer your business to other interested people.
They are also likely to ask you when they are looking for a new product or service because they know you have good connections. You can then pass on high-quality referrals to others in your network who will want to give you referrals in future. This is how referral networking contributes to your ongoing sales and revenue.
That's impressive, but if you join a network that takes accountability seriously you will probably record real figures for the business you receive and pass on to others. That will give you the best possible picture of how referral networking is helping your business to grow.
It's also worth taking into account the time and money you can save on other types of marketing activities such as online and print advertising, trade shows or sponsorship, for example.
If you would like to see effective referral networking in action, come visit BNI Sterling.
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 07733 033659 and let's have a chat.
I am committed to communications - personally and professionally. I want to hear what you have to say and to help you to be heard. That's why people tell me their life's story on the bus or train. I love it!
At work, I'm respected as a senior leader, strategist and innovator. I am effective, calm under pressure and confident. I revel in everything from strategic analysis of communications objectives and options to copywriting and the detailed planning and delivery of successful projects and integrated campaigns. I'm very fussy too - about creativity, quality, value and consistency - they all make a difference to results.
At play, I'm learning to paint (slowly) and enjoy cooking, photography, travelling and writing (of course). Most of all, I enjoy learning about all the very special people I meet along the way.
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