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How to Give a Referral!

I am frequently taken by surprise.  People often ask me how to give a referral, yet it seems so natural to me.  I just take it for granted that everyone knows how to do this. We do it all the time without giving it a second thought. Referral giving is really a very natural occurrence.  Whether or not you agree, please read on.

We dine a great restaurant, see the latest movie, attend a business grand opening, or watch the first showing of a new play.  Many of us will refer to the experience, good or bad, in our conversation with a friend, colleague or loved one.  How does this conversation sound?  It might go something like this:

  • Did you see that Joe’s Diner has reopened?  It is under new management.  The food was great.  If you are interested in good food, you might want to check out Joe’s.

Let’s examine this referral more closely.  It contains an opening question, a comment that peaks interest, a point that raises further interest, and ends with an endorsement.  This is the same model to use when giving a business referral.  If I were to refer a business, I might say:

  • Joan, I remember you telling me that you would like to know of an organization that can help your employees change their decision making processes.  Do you know of the Big Think Question Company?  They provide speakers that will talk to your employees giving them valuable tips on how to change their thinking.

Or another example:

  • Jeff, your networking organization occasionally looks for speakers for your Wednesday meetings.  I know Jim Jones.  He does an excellent job of presenting on a number of different topics that might be of interest to your group.

Always complete the connection.  Exchange contact information: name, telephone number, address, and email.   Reciprocate by calling the person referred and give contact information of the person you are referring.  Always get approval before giving out someone’s contact information.  Just giving out a name and number does not make a connection complete.  I cannot emphasis this enough: To make a connection you MUST make two telephone calls.  One to the person you are referring to, the other to the referred person letting them know that you have made the exchange of information and that they should be expecting a telephone call.

An area often overlooked is referring persons in like industries to each other.  Most of us are so protective of what we do, we neglect to look at our competition who may serve different target markets.  I like to call this Collaborative Marketing.  One of the best examples I have seen is the following:

  • A locksmith in Royal Oak I know recently started his own company.  When we met, he was making about $100 per day.  Most of this business was coming from his brother-in-law, a successful locksmith, who was mentoring him in the business.

When I met this new locksmith, he told me what it was he really enjoyed about his new business. Unlocking locked cars.  Here is how we took his business from $100 per day to $500 per day.  He introduced himself to about five successful locksmiths in a close radius to his business location.  Each of these five locksmiths found unlocking cars as a necessary evil; something they had to do, but would rather not.  The new locksmith got ALL of their locked car business.  These five locksmiths became his best referral resource, out performing all forms of print advertising.

Who can be referring business to you?  I encourage you to use this article as a guide to creating a referral system of people who are in and out of your business place.  Take the time to devise a list of people who already sing your praises.  Then devise a strategy to train them as a resource to help refer you in your business, and help you refer them in their business.  As you choose to take these steps, you will see your business flourish.

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with people in business who want to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website, www.integritysd.com.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started Integrity.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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