October 5, 2009
Your Referral Network - Is it Working?
If your referral network is not working the way you want or expect it to, it's your responsibility to make it work. Perhaps you have not been keeping them up-to-date on the new products/services you are providing? Do they know all the original products/services you provide?
Does your Referral Network have current business cards, brochures, website information, email information, and your offline contact information? Do they know you are on Twitter, FaceBook or LinkedIn? Are they aware that you are involved in any online social networking? Your referral partners need to be informed so that they may educate those in their networks and refer the perfect prospects for your business.
BUT . . . Referral marketing is a two-way street. Do you make sure your referral partners know that you are interested in what THEY do, rather than just worry about how interested they are in what you do? Remember, it's always about What's In It For Them (WIIFT) not What's In It For You (WIIFY). Do you know if they are involved in online social marketing? If so, are you connected to them and sharing your connections with them? How about their products/services - are you keeping up-to-date on what they are doing so that you can appropriately refer them? Are you genuinely interested in their business? Or are you just interested in what they can do for you? Do you know how to properly refer them? Are you referring them? Are you following up with each other on a regular basis?
It IS your responsibility to inform your referral partners on what a good referral is for you AND to make sure you know what a good referral is for them! . Responsibility is something people are sometimes reluctant to accept. Actions taken on your behalf by other individuals is YOUR responsibility, so be sure to choose the people that are the right ones to work with. People who can readily understand what you do and how you do it AND are able to properly communicate to you what they do and how they do it for reciprocal referrals! Demonstrate your competence and integrity, maintain the effectiveness and strength of your referral relationships and make this process work . . . for both of you!
How are YOU training your referral partners? What are you doing to maintain these relationships? Without maintenance, everything breaks down - just like your car - without regular maintenance, things stop working. Do you want that to happen to your referral partners?
Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments section - how can I be of help to you?
To Your Networking Success!
Carol Deckert is a Networking Coach and the Netweaving Expert for Group Mastery. She's the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network, has more than 6,700 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,800 “friends” on Facebook and more than 3,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her netweaving work, she helps others learn to do what she did, save them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: deckert1116