The easiest business is a referral
Imagine receiving a call like this, "Hello, our mutual friend Jack suggested that I call you about my problem."
That's a hot lead. The caller has already been sold on your credibility. You don't need to sell yourself. All you need to do is confirm Jack's praise of your ability.
A variation of this is when Jack tells you to call Jennifer and mention his name as a reference. When you reach Jennifer, she responds with, "Yes, Jack told me about you. I've been expecting your call."
Terry handed her resume to her friend Leslie who offered to deliver it personally to her cousin at the company that was hiring.
These are just three examples of how referrals or personal introductions can help your business or career.
This is the real purpose of networking - to introduce you to someone who might hire you or buy your product. Networking isn't about finding people to sell to - it's about building trust with people who might introduce you to buyers.
Recently I've reconnected with some associates and old friends by phone and over coffee. By reaching out I received some names, introductions and referrals. I gained some new business and opened some promising leads. There's a good reason why that coffee is a valid business expense. It can you generate new business.
How can you get more warm introductions?
Stop throwing your business card at every networking victim you meet. Instead, be sure to collect their card and have a meaningful and memorable conversation. The next step is to call them for a more in-depth conversation. That might lead to a coffee meeting which can build trust and rapport.
Revive old relationships with friends, clients or colleagues. You can use any excuse for this:
- Hey I miss you
- Hope you are enjoying the summer
- Saw a movie that reminded me of you
- Read about your company in the news
- Saw you on FaceBook, Linkedin, YouTube
- Our old connection was in the news
Then listen and make good notes. Provide names or offer to introduce them to people who can help them.
If they don't ask, be sure to tell them how they might help you. Make sure they're listening before you start to rattle on.
Then end the conversation with, "What are the next steps for us?"
George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter