The Most Important Factor in Receiving Referrals = YOU!

by Sabrina Risley

Now more than ever, referrals are a key component to business growth. The Referral of a Lifetime by Tim Templeton is one of my favorite books and one I recommend to many professionals. In it, we are reminded of the power of referrals. You see, being given a referral means the referring party strongly endorses your product, your service and even you. By the simple act of referring, the contact who referred you has given you a strong recommendation, therefore you are already viewed favorably. Be mindful that people are more likely to believe what others say about you as compared to what you say about yourself. For someone to say that your company has amazing customer service has a much greater impact than you proclaiming that your service is amazing. It’s the essence of the third-party endorsement that gives you strength.

So how do you go about turning the wheels of the referral cycle?  I’d like you to consider 4 components:
Ask, Educate, Assure and Guide.
Ask for referrals. People want to help you so don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Take a look at your current list of contacts, clients and individuals in your circle of influence. You have permission to ask for referral from individuals: (1) with whom you have a good relationship, (2) who know your work ethic and service levels, (3) who endorsed your product/service, (4) to whom you currently send referrals.
Educate your referral sources. Do they know enough about you, what you offer, and what constitutes a good referral? Identify your “carrot” or buzz words that they can listen for as they interact with people, and share your carrot words with your referral sources. Education can be provided any number of ways including informative newsletters, direct mail pieces, and one-on-one conversations.
Assure your referral sources. Pledge that you will always deliver top notch service and look out for the best interest of anyone they refer. Prepare yourself for the occasion in which you might need to recommend another company if you are unable to meet the needs and expectations of your new referred contact. Be sure to communicate back to the referring party to let them know what has transpired with their referral (ie, they hired you, purchased your product, recognized it wasn’t a good fit).
Guide your referral sources. Let them know how best to introduce new referrals to you so all parties have the greatest opportunity for success. For example, you might ask your referral source to kindly: (1) provide you with the new contact’s name and telephone number, (2) let you know which of your products or services the contact has an interest, (3) advise their contact to expect a follow up phone call from you.
When you are asking for referrals, educating your sources, assuring them of your commitment to deliver quality service and guiding them so they know how to deliver a referral, you are facilitating the process to receiving referrals that actually lead to business growth.
(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

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Goal Getting Made Easy

By Sabrina Risley

It’s that time of year when New Year’s resolutions are made.  Many say resolutions and goals are made to be broken.  Well not in 2011!!!  We are going to set goals and we are going to achieve them!  Who’s with me?

YOU ARE!! 

Now that we’ve made this commitment, let’s take a look at a few factors to keep in mind to help you set your goals and meet (or exceed) them. 

Start with the end in mind. What is your vision for your business one year from today?  How will your life be different?  With this, you must be very specific. For example, a goal to earn “more money” in 2011 is not as specific as a goal to “double your income and earn $XYZ monthly.”   It is also important to be realistic about your goals. It can be discouraging to have a lofty goal that is not realistic and unattainable.

Write down and commit to your goals.  Statistics show that when people write their goals down, they are more likely to actually achieve them. The simple act of putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard to get your goals in print expresses intention and commitment and assists in achieving your goals. 

Find an accountability partner. Sharing your goals with someone else is just as powerful, if not more powerful, than the simple act of writing your goals down. The mere concept of having a cheering section to support you and hold you accountable is quite potent.  This is someone you feel comfortable turning to calling upon when you are struggling to stay on track or need a morale boost.

Identify milestones and outline action items.  You can more easily achieve your goals once you identify the milestones to meet and action items to complete along the way. It might be helpful to work backward from the desired end goal to determine the milestones and assign dates. You can then breakdown each milestone into manageable action items. If your goal is to double your income, bite-size steps toward that larger goal might include:

1)  Identify power/referral partners

2)  Reach out to power/referral partners

3)  Meet with a interested potential power/referral partner

3)  Identify networking groups to join

4)  Visit two new networking groups each month

5)  Join two groups that meet my needs

6)  Research contact management software

7)  Load contacts into chosen software

8)  Create regular outreach campaigns

And so on…

Revisit your goals for relevancy. Check in periodically to determine whether your end goal or vision is still in line with your big business picture?  If they are out of alignment, rewrite your goals, milestones and action items.  If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about your goals or don’t feel they are attainable, it might be time to rewrite them so that you can be optimistic.  Because your thoughts are very influential over the outcomes you receive, be sure to celebrate each action item checked off and milestone met. Each is a success.

Reward yourself!  What will you do for yourself when you meet your goal? Make it something BIG and significant to you! A day at the spa. A tropical vacation. A new computer. Write down your reward at the top of your list of goals and promise to reward yourself when you meet your goal.

Just remember, you and only you are responsible for achieving your goals. And know in advance that obstacles, complications and barriers will present themselves along the way. However, your firm commitment, your accountability partner and celebrating your successes are all vehicles to realizing the greater reward that comes with achieving your goal. 

Cheers to you! May you achieve all that you desire and commit to in 2011 and beyond. 

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

You are welcome to use this blog post for your own website, newsletter, ezine, etc. 

 Please post Sabrina Risley’s short biography below along with a live link back to this blog page. 

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based and Denver networking events and Denver referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get. You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business. To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

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