There are three key questions you need to ask yourself before bagging a big referral.
Let us start with a basic networking question: what motivates you to do what you do?
Like most people you are probably working to put your children through school, to pay you’re your mortgage or to live a better lifestyle. However, clients want to know what really motivates you and why you chose this profession.
Your contacts are more likely to refer you business when they can see that you are genuinely passionate about your work. People warm to you more when you give them a bit of your back story, such as what inspired you to go into your profession. They are also more likely to remember you and therefore pass on your details which in turn, earn you lots of referrals.
You definitely need to prepare an answer for this one: why would they want to work with you?
Put yourself in your client’s shoes and look at your company from their point of view. Why should they deal with you rather than one of your competitors? How are you going to add value to their business?
Think of it like this: A friend of mine is in a famous band and a photographer I know asked for an introduction to the group. I told him “this guy gets his picture taken every day for some publication or another, why would he want you to take his picture.”
The only answer the photographer could come up with was that he was really good.
As he couldn’t give me a specific reason with evidence to back up his claims, I found it difficult to introduce him. Your networkers will feel the same if you don’t provide them with a solid reason as to why you want to do business with their contact. If you want a big referral then you need to be have an answer for yourself and an answer to give your network so that they can say it for you when they are asked.
Finally, why do you want to work with this client?
Is it because they would be a good client for you? If so, why? Would they look good on your CV? Could it lead you to other business?
You need to give a focused answer so that your network has a good idea of what you want. If you are vague then your network will also be vague and this can put your potential client off. People like to know details, so give them as much as you can and will be more likely to pass on your business card along with a great testimonial.