At Business in Heels, we love a statistic!  So imagine how we feel when we find three of them in a row!!!

The New York Times found that 65% of new business comes from referrals.

Nielsen found that people are 4 times more likely to purchase when referred by a friend.

Texas Tech found that 83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience.

We mention these because referrals are the main reason people attend networking events.  So it makes sense to be the giver of referrals to build up your store of goodwill.  Imagine the sense of gratitude you will be instilling in others if you refer business to them.  Is this likely to come back in spades?

The Referral Cues

There are a few classic ways people alert you to their needs.  These include…

A complaint,


A success story.

Complaints – if something isn’t going well in your world you want to get it fixed.  Right?  Others are the same so connect the complainant with the solution provider.  Simple.

Confusion – “I don’t know how to…”  This is a golden moment for offering help to someone.  You may not be the solution to the problem but if you can connect the confused to the clarifier you’re lookin’ good!

A success story – The people on cloud 9 because business is going booming may well be looking to expand.  They could be looking at new signage, logos, websites, a commercial lender, business coach.  But you’ll never know unless you ask.  Try, “What will you need to make this growth happen?”

Now, you may not feel like exposing your contacts on a first meeting.  Perfectly acceptable.  However – you might.  It’s up to you.  If you don’t, the people saying these things are great for hooking up with later as they are people you are in a position to help.  So organise a date to learn more about their business!  If you become confident, pass on the names you were holding back previously.

The Bottom Lines

Learning about people’s businesses enables you to listen for particular cues that highlight their needs.

Helping people increases your store of goodwill.  A store of goodwill increases the chance of people wanting to help you. 

Isn’t that what’s it’s all about?

If you have enjoyed this excerpt from “The Heel to Toe of Networking” By Jo Plummer and Lisa Sweeney, then download the book NOW.