How to Give Before You Get Referrals – Come Network & Enjoy!

How to Give Before You Get Referrals – Come Network & Enjoy!

Referrals are often the most revered and sought-after aspects of business development. This is unsurprising, considering that when someone refers you, you have a qualified lead on your doorstep—or rather, your inbox.

Last month, we discussed the difference between a referral and a lead. A referral is a personal introduction to a qualified lead. A qualified lead means they need your services. They know who you are and how you can help them. And the introduction comes with a stamp of approval from someone they presumably know, like, and trust. As a result, they are primed to become a client.

If you are looking to increase the number of referrals you receive and improve your referral relationships, this article is for you.

The Art of Giving

 I am a firm believer in the art of giving. I give freely and without expectations of return. This is partly because I find joy and gratification in helping others. I know that my greatest value is in connecting people to help solve problems and grow their businesses.

When someone expresses a need, I do my best to connect them with the right person. Please note that I also outrightly ask someone how I can help them or what they are working on that they need help with.

The effect of giving referrals freely is that, eventually, they will return the favor. Yes, you may not see the effects immediately. However, people naturally want to reciprocate. It is in our nature. If you consistently bring qualified leads to someone’s doorstep, you will be top of their mind when they know someone in need of your services.

The Caveats

There are a couple of caveats to the art of giving. First, you must give qualified leads. You need to vet and ensure the leads you are referring are an actual fit for the person’s ideal client and their services. Otherwise, you can give as many leads as you want—just don’t expect anyone to be grateful or send any referrals in return. In some cases, a bad lead is worse than no lead at all. It can reflect poorly on you and your ability to both listen and understand your network.

The second caveat is that you need to build a brand for yourself. You cannot expect referrals in return if your network has no idea what you do, who your ideal client is, and how you can best serve them. This begins with a solid elevator pitch and introduction during your first meeting with someone new. Then, you need to frequently offer examples of what you do or what you are currently working on, so they become more familiar with your services. If you want to take your brand to the next level, I highly encourage you to post on LinkedIn (or the social platforms most relevant to your referrals and target audiences) about what you do. The more people can understand your line of work, the more they can send qualified leads in your direction.

What do you think about giving before getting referrals in return? Do you practice the art of giving? I want to know. Comment here with your thoughts.

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