Get out a pad and paper and list the first 4,000 people that come to mind…I’ll wait.
OK, I’ll settle for the first 400…
The reality is that if you take the time you can come up with 200 or more people. Now, what if each of those 200 people was a potential client? That would be cool. What if I told you there is a way to get your message in front of 4,000 people on a weekly basis? That would be WAY cool! It’s called networking, and it’s a great way to have instant credibility with somebody you don’t even know.
When a colleague refers you to a third person, a certain degree of your colleague’s credibility is transferred to you through their existing relationship. In short, I trust Joe and Joe refers Kim to me, then there’s a very good chance I can trust Kim. There are several networking events through local organizations. SMC Business Councils has great networking opportunities you should consider as well as your Chamber of Commerce. There are also some great organizations dedicated solely to networking and referring. I belong to a networking organization (BNI) which meets weekly. I deliver a different message every week to at least 25 of my colleagues. If each of my colleagues knows 200 people, then every week my message can potentially reach 5,000 clients and I have instant credibility with 5,000 people I don’t even know. But there is a catch.
Any time a colleague gives you a referral, you better do everything you can to follow up quickly and professionally. The credibility that was transferred to you through your colleague is now on the table like chips on the blackjack table. Your friend is taking a chance on you and trusting you. You have the power to double his client’s trust in him or losing that same amount of trust. A referral is not to be taken lightly. If you follow through, you not only gain a new client, you now have access to their 200 friends. It doesn’t take long to exponentially increase your circle of influence.