Get Pumped for Referrals
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?
Many people say they want to meet accountants, lawyers and real estate agents because they may be a source of a constant stream of referrals. For others it’s home builders, property developers and conveyancers who are the crème de la crème. Still others want to meet website designers, marketers and graphic designers. So here’s the trick to putting yourself in a position to refer….
GO MEET THEM!
You should never refer anyone to anyone unless you have confidence in both. So meet them and make the very personal decision about whether or not an individual is referrable. Attend events, organise coffee dates, talk to people in elevators – do what you need to do in order to learn about them and their businesses. And do you know what? They’ll be absolutely flattered because “I” is everyone’s favourite topic. Once you know them you are in a position to refer or not – your choice. Remember to use that courage you’ve mustered because you may have to get out of your comfort zone.
Where Do You Meet Them?
Chambers of Commerce
Business Professional Women
League of Extraordinary Women
Business Networking International – BNI
Local Groups (Google ‘Networking Groups’ in your suburb for more.)
And of course… Business in Heels
And this is a shortlist! Each of these has their own flavour, methods and culture. When you find one you want to visit, put in the call and get yourself along. Minimise the bravery required by bringing a friend.
Do I fit in? Does this suit me? Was I made welcome? What business or career types are attracted to each group? What’s the culture? It’s hard to ascertain answers to these on a website so visit a few and work it out for yourself.
When you work out one suits you more than others become a regular attendee and build relationships slowly. This is critical – don’t rush it! People who rush a relationship are instinctively untrustworthy.
Here’s the next tip – don’t just dump the other networking organisations! The ability to cross-pollinate will make you the Go-to-Girl! You’ll become known as the woman who knows people! When seeking to refer or hook people up together this is an excellent position to be in. Your associates will come to you asking the best question of all – “Who do you know?” (More how to tips on this later.)
So, while this is happening, what else is seamlessly going on the in the background? You are building up your personal store of goodwill by proving to be helpful, connected, willing to learn, approachable, reliable and a damn fine person. Consequently, others are saying good things about you and spreading your name via the most effective marketing tool of all – word-of-mouth. Would being this person help your business or career?
If so – Get off your butt!
Get over yourself!
And get on with it!
Now, click your heels three times and repeat, “There’s no place like home.”
We hope you enjoyed another excerpt from “The Heel to Toe of Networking” . Click here to reserve your COPY now.