Developing a strong referral network should be one of everyone’s business goals. This strategy, in theory, lets you to acquire leads that are far more than luke-warm for starters. There’s an art and science to asking for referrals.
Both the quality of referrals, as well as their quantity, is up to you. Not all referrals are equal.
While many of you have implemented the strategy of asking for referral business upon closing a sale or completing a project, you truly do get what you ask for. If you don’t control the process, most of the time the referrals are useless, if not total disasters. You know what this scenario looks like.
You ask your customer for a referral. Or there are certain folks in your network, who have very good intentions and want to help you out, and refer you to other folks within their network. They usually send both of you an introductory email, such as “Babette is someone I feel you really need to meet because of her skill sets and the type of work she does” and leave it at that.
Then you call the referred person. If they don’t blow you off, perhaps they agree to meet you for coffee, or have a phone chat. It’s right up there with blind dating. [Read more...]