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The Science of Referring and the Advocate Strategy

This morning I was having coffee with one of my Advocates.  We were talking about how we can better refer business to each other.

I was very surprised with how the conversation evolved.  It seems that this Advocate has been very good at giving to his affinity partners.   They have not been as good in returning his giving.  When I questioned if there had been an exchange of conversation where the question could be asked, “Why did the other person not give in return?”  The answer nearly knocked me off my chair, therefore the reason for this article.

In the referral business for nearly 14 years, I think everyone knows the procedure for referring business.  The simple truth is people do not know how to consistently refer business.  The sad news is that most of us are out in the community to get rather than give.

Below is the procedure as I see it:

  • First step, have a conversation with a potential referral partner (Advocate.)  Agree to exchange referrals.  Discuss the frequency of exchange, how you will track results, and frequency of review of your commitment to each other
  • Second step, give a referral
  • Third step, get a referral
  • Fourth step, if you do not receive a referral in a reasonable amount of time ask why you have not received a referral?

Now this may seem simple.  Please remember that we are networking (Is your net working?) for business (collecting a check by providing our products or service.)  Most of us are brought up with this concept as a hit or miss exercise.  The process we grew up with is:

  • I meet someone
  • They get to know me (30 days, maybe six months, sometimes longer)
  • Eventually they give me a referral

One of my mentors told me, “it is just as easy to collect a check first, then build a strong relationship by providing good products and service.”  Believe me, it is the truth.

The referral business is just as important as providing raw materials for your products or systems for your service business.  It may be even more so.  In the case of having strong referral resources, we are shortening the time from receiving the referral to collecting the check.  Another way to see this is getting business sooner than later.  It is as simple as jumping through 10 hoops to collect a check or one hoop to collect a check.  If the check is for the same amount I would rather jump through one.

I would rather be an order taker than a salesman any day.  You can take more orders by having Advocate partners that have already made the sale for you.  When you have a system of Advocates who know what to say to your target market, you will spend more time delivering your product and service and less time selling your product and service.

The easiest sale is a referral sale.  The easiest way to get that sale is to have an Advocate get you in front of your pure target market to collect the check.  I want it this way, and I know you do too!

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with realtors who want to attract the right prospects and their affinity partners who want to 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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