Most people are in a network of some kind, whether it is professional networking or more of an informal networking group. But one common miss conception in all networking groups is this. “I need to meet loads of new people and contacts”. The good news is that you don’t.
Meeting new people and contacts is good but most of us know enough people to make word of mouth marketing work.
The problem is that our contacts don’t know the right stuff. So in order to turn a contact into a referral gold mine, we need to do things well and do them consistently.
1. Educate: We need to educate our contacts about what we are looking for and why we are looking for it. We need to educate them on how to start a conversation about us. We need to educate them on who are good introducers for us. We also need to get them to do the same for us. Someone will not be a goldmine if it is one way traffic.
2. Contact: We need to contact them regularly. By phone, email, text or even by letter. But we need to have regular contact and updates on what is going on. Have you got new products, suppliers, clients or targets?
3. Praise: We need to let our contacts know how good a job they are doing for us. But we need to do it regularly. Make them feel special and they will continue. Ignore their efforts and they will stop.
4. Reward: We need to reward them. This is not the same. Take a goldmine out to lunch or pay for a ticket for an event. Take them for a game of golf or just buy them a pint but do something!
If you can do these 4 things with 5 to 10 people you will see your referrals grow dramatically.