When I hear people say “I don’t get enough referrals” or “I would like to have more referrals” I kind of laugh (internally of course). The reason for the laugh is because there is a very simple solution but a lot of people do not want to truly change their referral dilemma. The solution to bring about this change is Professional Networking.
Establishing, building, growing, strengthening, developing and cultivating relationships is key to generating referrals. If two people do not know one another, it is extremely difficult to refer the other. In other words, it is unlikely to receive a referral from someone that does not know you. However, the opposite applies for people that DO know one another.
But you can’t stop at the “introduction”. There is an element of consistency that is required. Think about it, when someone gets married…they did not meet their spouse earlier that same day. It took a frequency of time to get to know one another and build trust. Now, building professional relationships is a lot different than that of a marriage, but the principle is the same. Relationships don’t just happen overnight. They take some time to be nurtured.
Here is the cool part. The more developed your relationships the more referrals you receive. Additionally, you are able to give more referrals when you have developed relationships. When you give more referrals you receive more referrals. See how this works?
Do you see the correlation? To broaden your ability to have more referrals you need to have more relationships. The best way to develop more professional relationships is through professional networking. It takes a little time but look at it this way. You can engage in little to no networking for a year and yield little to no referrals, OR you can engage in networking often for a year and have robust referral sources. Either way that year is going to pass by. Wouldn’t it be better to have more referral opportunities than less? It just makes good business sense to network with other business professionals.
If you network regularly, then you already know what I am talking about. If you don’t currently network on a regular basis, then stop waiting for a different result without changing your activity. Start networking regularly. As a bonus, you will see that it is a lot of fun too!