Thank you, Valerie Lampe of Elephant Networking for creating this list 😉
1) CREATE OPPORTUNITY!
I know it sounds elementary, however it always happens…don’t forget to
carry your business cards at all times! Take it one step further and
practice striking up a conversation with people who you don’t already know.
Hand out your card at least 3 times a day…remember, no one can sell you
better than you!
The rule of reciprocity…people will want to reciprocate for a nicety
bestowed unto them. Don’t sit around and wait to receive, take initiative,
create a list of people you know and ask them questions such as are you
happy with your accountant/travel agent/realtor? ? It is an easy
conversation to have with people you know, and who already trust you. If the
answer is “no”, invite them to a meeting with you there. Can you imagine a
stronger referral? With that type of effort, your piers will strive to do
the same for you!
3) Tout & Shout!
Do you have valuable shelf space in your workplace? If you have a counter,
why not utilize it as a resource section for local professionals who you
consider to give excellent service? Simply collect cards/brochures from the
members of your chapter, let them know that you’re going to display them in
a highly visible place and ask if they can do the same for you.
In order to refer anyone to your clients, friends, neighbors, co-workers and
family…you must trust them! Get to know the people in your group, and I
don’t mean just their names! You should listen closely to the weekly
presenter, ask questions and even take notes. If you don’t know why people
should do business with them, how can you possibly convey that message to
others? Also, the reciprocity factor applies here as well, if you ask people
about what they do, they will want to learn about you as well. Then they too
can be ready to refer the most valuable people in their lives to you!
5) Free Samples!
(Last time I checked, Baskin & Robbins is still in business)! No one works
for free, that is not what we are suggesting here. However, small gestures
go a long, long way. Offer up a discount/sample/coupon/special
offer/incentive for you team. Let them try your product/services and watch
the referrals flow! After all, the best way to describe anything is only
after experiencing it yourself )
6) Bring your”A” game!
Keep in mind that every single time you get in front of people, you’re
making an impression. In networking groups, you are trying to achieve the
highest level of trust and respect, with the ultimate goal of growing your
business through referrals from your members. Punctuality, dressing for
success and good grooming may seem like small things…they’re not! These
“minor” details can be difference makers in your piers’ minds. If a person
is chronically late, one may think they will be late or unreliable on a
regular basis. If one shows up appearing as if they rolled out of bed and
couldn’t afford the time to iron a shirt, it may create the impression that
they are disorganized or a procrastinator. We all know no one is perfect,
however, we can always strive for it!
7) Write it Down!
It never fails. I’m on my way to a store and have 3 things I absolutely need
to get…you know the rest of this story! When you are in a meeting, even if
it’s a social one, and you realize you know someone who can benefit from
this person’s services, or perhaps they are looking for employment and this
person just told you they need help! I promise, even with the best of
intentions we all forget or get distracted and don’t remember in a timely
fashion. Write it down, it doesn’t matter if it’s a notebook, your pda,
iphone or cocktail napkin…as long as it’s retrievable (and legible)!
8) HW! Do your homework!
I was one of those kids in high school who would rather do anything, even
work, as opposed to do my homework! There was no internet back then, and who
knows, perhaps that would’ve made the difference. It certainly makes it
inexcusable today. Anyone can type in a name and find out some basic info on
just about everyone. It is much more impressive to your prospects/existing
clients if you show an interest in them. If they were featured in a
newspaper, mention it. If they are on facebook and list their interest in
golf, why not use it as a talking topic? All human beings like to feel that
they are interesting. Remember that famous quote…”They don’t care how much
you know, until they know how much you care.” – John C. Maxwell
9) Positive Attitude!
Are you the type of person who others want to do business with? Are you a
positive person? Do you try to help others and look to be a problem solver,
not problem pointer outer? Catch yourself! If you’re tempted to complain,
whether it’s the weather, the economy, the Mets/Jets/Nets or
whatever…notice that a positive person talks of hope, optimism and
potential with the same exact topics!
10) Follow up!
There is no substitute for follow up…NONE! Lack of doing so is the fastest
way to lose a customer, lose a referral partner and lose your professional
reputation Remember, if you receive a referral it’s because they trust
you, but trust is sensitive and needs constant support. Be a follow up guru
who if you’re guilty of anything…it’s over follow up! (And Yes… I know
that’s not grammatically correct, but it’s the point that matters)!