Becoming a Referral Superstar: Asking For Referrals So You Actually RECEIVE Referrals!! (Part 2 of 2)

by Sabrina Risley

Last month, I shared Part One on how to become a Referral Superstar, so you can build a referral network that actually delivers referrals. I shared WHY you want to use referrals to build your business, WHO your potential referral partners are, and asked you to be specific in WHAT you are looking for in a referral.

If you’ve completed your “homework,” you are now ready to move on.  If not, be sure to Read Part One first.  Referral Superstars, let’s talk about WHEN and HOW to ask for referrals.

W #4 = When

Once you know who to ask and you’ve identified what to specifically ask for, knowing when to ask is crucial. Asking a contact too soon can feel like asking someone to marry you on a first date.

It’s never too late to ask for referrals once you’ve:

  • Established rapport,
  • Formed a trusting relationship,
  • Ensured them you will take care any contacts they send your way.

A great time to ask for referrals is right after you’ve successfully completed work and you’ve delivered excellent customer service resulting in a very satisfied customer. This customer is in a state of gratitude and appreciation for the work you’ve completed for them and they are ready to share that experience with others. For example, as an insurance agent, you just wrote a new policy for a client and saved them $200 per year. This is the perfect time to ASK for a referral!

Within your network and circle of influence, when to ask can be a little tricky. As we’ve said before, asking too soon can be damaging to the relationship. Most people need to see or hear from you an average of 7 to 9 times before they feel confident and comfortable with you and your products or services. To speed up rapport building and trust, make a habit of reaching out to your contacts consistently. Create a plan of contact.

If in doubt, wait it out. Consider the number of quality “touches” you’ve made with this person, if it’s less than five, enlist a few more measures to ensure you are establishing rapport, trust, and confidence. Perhaps you can pick up the phone and ask what they most need right now, take them to coffee or have lunch after a networking event, or even send a referral or connection their way. Individuals with Bob Burg’s Go-Giver® mentality receive the most.

How:

Once you know who your referral sources are, you’ve identified what a good prospect looks like and you know when to ask, you are ready to actually ask for the referral. Asking for referrals can be intimidating, but if you’ve followed the instructions on when to ask, your request will be well-received.

Here is how to phrase the question.

  • Start by asking an open ended question. Instead of asking “Do you know anyone?” ask, “Who do you know?”
  • To increase your chance of receiving referrals, use the specifics about what your ideal referral looks like. The more general you are, the harder it is for people to recall someone in need of your service. However, if you ask for a specific referral like, “Who do you know that is currently looking to move out of state and sell their home?” people can more readily pinpoint who in their network fits into that specific scenario.

Here are a few more examples to consider:

Realtor: “Who do you know in your wine club that is getting ready to retire within the next two years?”

Marketing:  “Who do you know in Littelton that is struggling to build their business using online marketing strategies?”

Financial Planner: “Who do you know in the Denver metro area that is a higher level executive and recently switched companies?” (You see, they might need their 401k managed).

Here’s another example of how to ask for referrals.  In his book, Endless ReferralsBob Burg suggests, “Anne, I’m in the process of expanding my referral business, and I find it’s helpful to partner with my clients and friends such as you. Could we take a few quick minutes to run past the names of some people I might also be able to help?”

Practice asking for referrals and find the words that work for you. But simply asking for referrals sets you apart from 90% of the professionals within your industry.  All you need to do is follow the Why, Who, What, When and How, and you’ll soon become a Referral Superstar.

For related reading, see also our Janauary 2011 post, The Most Important Factor to Receiving Referrals = YOU!

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s 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 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 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. Sign up for Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success at http://www.behindthemooninc.com/index.php/free-report.

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Becoming a Referral Superstar: Asking For Referrals So You Actually RECEIVE Referrals!! (Part 1 of 2)

by Sabrina Risley

We all had grandiose visions of opening our business, kicking our feet up on the desk, and answering incoming calls and demands for our widgets.  Unfortunately, that’s not how it happens. However, when you become a Referral Superstar, your phone begins to ring and you soon get more qualified, ready-to-buy prospects knocking at your door.

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading two books pertaining to referrals: The Referral of a Lifetime by Tim Templeton and Endless Referrals by Bob Burg. I consistently use both as reference tools. What I learned from both books is that to become a Referral Superstar, first you need to know how to build a referral network so that you actually receive referrals. In this case, you need to answer Why, Who, What, and When so you can get to the HOW. 

W #1 = Why

You might be asking yourself, “If I do a good job, won’t I just GET referrals?” It’s possible, but by asking for referrals, you greatly increase the chances of receiving referrals, and you most certainly receive them more quickly. Asking for referrals isn’t selfish. It’s about giving and passing along valuable resources. People love to connect and they love to help. When they refer someone, they know they are being of service by making the connection. When you give people the opportunity to help, they will.

Additionally, referrals are the BEST source for new customers, as prospects are more likely to believe what others say about you than what you tell them about yourself. There is nothing more prized than having the opportunity to meet someone based on the strong recommendation from their friend or associate. Referrals come to you already trusting in who you are and what you offer. You are already on the pedestal, placed there by the referring party.  With each new referral turning into new business, it leads to more opportunity to grow and expand your network of referral based clients!

W #2 = Who

The Rule of 250 states that you have at least 250 contacts in your circle of influence.  It further states that each of your 250 contacts has a circle of influence of 250 as well.  Wow… that’s more than 62,000 people at your fingertips!!  Doesn’t it make sense then to say that your 250 contacts know people who need your products/service?

The first step is to explore your existing network to identify the best people from whom you can ask for referrals. These could include: satisfied current and previous customers; raving fans and champions; those with whom you have a trusted relationship; friends; family; contacts with whom you have sufficiently established a know, like, trust factor, or rapport and connection. When it comes to building a referral based business, your network is your lifeline.

W #3 = What

Once you identify who to ask, begin identifying exactly what you are asking for. What does a good referral look like?  Saying that “anyone and everyone is a good referral” ensures you’ll get referred to no one. It’s best to narrow down to specifics as it helps your contacts know who to refer to you. The more specific and focused you are, the more likely you are to get a referral.

Be specific and determine what you are asking from your referral source.

  • Geography: In which geographic area do you prefer to work? Even if you can work nationwide, it’s best to narrow the geographic region so you referral source can actually imagine prospects for you in that specific area. This doesn’t mean you won’t receive referrals or business outside that area. This is about narrowing the focus for your referral source.
  • Focus on a Product or Service: What is your core or primary focus of the products or services you offer? You can also view this from the perspective of offering the most well-received product/service available and lead with that. Again, narrowing the focus for your referral source.
  • Type of Client or Person: What are the specifics about your ideal client/referral? Are they in a specific age or income range? What type of person, or what situation or circumstances define the person who best fits the products or services for which you are seeking a referral? Are they retirees? Families with young children? Being specific here further helps in receiving referrals.

By following these first 3 W’s, you are well on your way to growing your business through referrals. Spend some time this month identifying your who (referral partners) and your what (specifics), so you are ready for part two of this article, which includes WHEN and HOW to ask for referrals.

“When we seek help, people are there to help.  But you have to take the first step and ask for it. ”
~ Angie Ridings

For related reading, see also our Janauary 2011 post, The Most Important Factor to Receiving Referrals = YOU!

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s 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 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 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. Sign up for Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success at http://www.behindthemooninc.com/index.php/free-report.

Adding Value: Does It Mean Giving Away My Stuff For FREE?

by Sabrina Risley

You may have a large network.  You may know a lot of people.  They may know a lot of people.  It seems that this alone would be the perfect formula for creating a networking goldmine, but as you may have noticed, a network alone won’t necessarily bring you endless referrals and a steady stream of new clients.  But there is one thing that will…

Adding VALUE and helping those within your network!

A concentration on adding value and service as an important facet of your business growth strategy will have a tremendous effect on what you attract.

So what does adding value and helping others really mean?  It’s like paying it forward.  It’s doing good for the sake of doing good, not for the sake of what you think you might receive in return.  It’s about serving without attachment to an outcome or expectation.  One of my favorite quotes from Bob Burg‘s Go-Givers Sell More reads “The task here is not to create value in order to create a sale or “in order to” anything.  It’s to create value, period.”

Adding value could look like any number of things:

  • Making a phone call instead of sending an email
  • Sending a handwritten note or thank you card
  • Remembering birthdays, anniversaries or other important dates
  • Making an introduction or connecting someone to another person of high-value to them
  • Recommending valuable resources and sharing information
  • Offering a free report, success tips, or valuable information that solves your target market’s problems
  • Following up with a client, contact or prospect to be sure they are satisfied
  • Thinking ahead to what your client might need, suggesting other products and services
  • Sending referrals
  • Saving a client money… and the list can go on and on.

Here are a few specific examples that might help you translate things for your own business:

  • A massage therapist or hair stylist might call their client a few days after delivering service to see how they are doing.
  • An insurance agent might call their client to let them know about new changes in their policy, how that will impact them, and offer suggestions.
  • Thinking outside the box… a professional on the networking circuit might focus on connecting at least two people from every event with someone who could be a good strategic alliance or power partner.
“The essence of the Go-Giver philosophy is this: the more you give, the more you have.”

With this quote in mind, you’ll notice what did not make my list of what adding value looks like…

  • Giving away your services and products for free
  • Discounting your services and products
  • Over-giving to a paying customer because they demand it

These are not examples of adding value.  In fact, much of the time, free or discounting decreases its perceived value. Think of what you treasure more… something for which you paid full price or the item you found on sale?  Well, happening upon a great sale can be exhilarating, however consider an article of clothing costing $100. When the item goes on sale for $50, doesn’t it make you wonder whether the item was ever worth the original $100?

To really be of service and to add value to your network and clients, your giving must contribute in some manner.  Here are a few questions to consider when determining how to add greater value in your business.

  • Is this something that will directly impact the other person?
  • Would this help them solve a problem or overcome an obstacle?
  • Could this support them in learning something new?
  • Am I giving this without being attached to getting something back in return? (giving from the heart versus giving to buy approval)
  • Can I freely give this, without it taking away from my energy, causing resentment, or it being a disservice to myself or other clients?

These are all for your consideration when looking for ways to add value.  Remember, it’s about being of service and giving, but it’s not about giving away your services and products for free, offering discounts, depleting your energy, and devaluing your time and worth.

Focus on adding value for others and you’ll soon see your business grow in value.

“Right now, your total job is to focus on one thing and one thing only; providing value to other people. If you do that well, sales – and money – will find you.” ~Go-Givers Sell More

(c) 2012 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 for Sabrina Risley 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 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 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. Sign up for Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success at http://www.behindthemooninc.com/index.php/free-report.

Building Your Network Through Gravitational Pull

By Andrea Costantine

Have you ever felt that building your network is a struggle and takes a lot of energy and hard work?  Well, it’s quite possible that you’ve been using shear force, pushing, and paddling upstream.  This is the exact opposite of building your network through gravitational pull which is all about serving and taking a genuine interest in others, rather than “convincing” them about your greatness.

Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals, The Go-Giver and Go-Givers Sell More explains the difference between pushing vs pulling like this: “pushing is telling people what you want; pulling is finding out what they want. “ Pushing on people doesn’t move them closer to you. As Burg writes, “…ask them about themselves, find out what their interests are, put their interests ahead of your own, and you can “pull” people from vast distances. The influence created by pushing does not carry far. The influence created through pulling is limitless.”

Push strategies are me-centered, when you are talking, selling and thinking of your own interests and agenda. Pull strategies take the focus off of you and your sales and include genuinely taking an interest in others, connecting people to leads and resources, building relationships and giving in ways that meet the needs of others.

Burg also writes “The secret to developing a vast and thriving sales business is the impact you have on the people you have not yet met.” Think of the times when someone knows of you before you’ve even met them. This is your influence preceding you. So consider how you can impact, influence and grow your network using “pull” strategies. Be the person who genuinely helps and gives to others and you will find that people naturally gravitate towards you and the opportunities you have to draw great people into your network multiply significantly.

Now let’s consider how to incorporate pull strategies into your networking. To some, networking is a disguised version of “tit for tat” as Burg writes. In a dog-eat-dog world, it’s all too easy to consider “what have you done for me lately?”  Doing good deeds and being a Go-Giver isn’t about keeping score. Recognize that when you give and do for others, the returns may not come back directly from the people you serve. You will receive gifts back in a variety of ways… an old client hiring you back for an upcoming project, new business coming from the referral of a raving fan, a lead coming from a “competitor” with whom you’ve developed a respectful relationship.

Have a positive influence on others and make networking about giving and serving others. Being a Go-Giver is about doing things for others, taking a genuine interest in them, and ultimately serving the best interest of those around you. Whether you see a direct return from a particular person or not, it simply doesn’t matter, because the truth is that Go-Givers do indeed sell more.

To expand your influence and achieve the success you desire , join national best-selling author, Bob Burg and Behind The Moon live on April 8, 2011 in the Denver Tech Center for Influence & Success: The Go-Giver Way.  More Information.

(c) 2010, 2011  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.

 

Andrea Costantine is a writer, speaker, and wanna-be artist, focusing on the good things in life.  She is a perpetual optimist, lover of nature, yoga, travel, and new experiences.  Learn more about Andrea at www.andreacostantine.com.

Elements of an Effective 30-Second Introduction

By Sabrina Risley
One of the greatest networking challenges I hear from professionals is knowing what constitutes an effective 30-second introduction.  This is often called a 30-second commercial or elevator speech.  Regardless of its name, when delivered effectively, a powerful 30-second introduction can open windows of opportunity for you and your business.
The goal of the 30-second introduction is simply to catch the attention of contacts, power partners and fellow colleagues when you are asked “what do you do for a living?”  It is not meant to be used to make a sale or close a deal, but rather to give just enough information causing others to become curious and interested in knowing more about what you do.  You want to give just enough information to gain their interest without overwhelming them with the nitty-gritty details of your products/services. When you rattle off too much information, your listeners may become overwhelmed, shut down and you lose out on the opportunity to relate and share on a more personal level.
To ensure your 30-second introduction packs a powerful punch, here are some factors to keep in mind:
  • Everyone gets nervous when delivering their introduction, especially when standing in front of a group.  Take a deep breath and don’t rush through your words.
  • Speak clearly, slowly, intentionally and project your voice through your entire introduction.
  • Use concise and relevant points related to what you do and how you serve others.
  • Make eye contact with each individual and don’t “skim” the room. Making eye contact helps you to connect with each person and give the feeling that you are speaking to an individual rather than a room full of people.
  • Practice before you speak.  Take time to think about what you are going to say, test it out on friends, your coach, or power partners and ask for their feedback.  If you are nervous, it’s okay to read from a notecard.  You can even let people know it’s a new introduction as they will empathize with your vulnerability and honesty.
  • Know your audience and be prepared with a few different introductions. It’s important to be flexible depending upon who you are addressing.
  • Since you only have 30 seconds, highlight one product/service versus sharing details on everything you offer.  Trying to cover too many products/services forces you to be general and vague about each.  Highlight a different product/service the next time you do your introduction, allowing people to learn more about you each time you deliver your introduction.
  • Leave people wanting to know a little more so they are intrigued and want to talk with you further about what you offer. The best thing is to have someone come up after an event and ask questions about what you offer.
  • Mention the target market you are able to or enjoy helping most (ie, realtor enjoys first-time home buyers, interior designer enjoys helping professionals arrange their office space for greatest efficiency).
  • End with a catchy slogan or special you are offering.
  • Above all, be respectful and do not go over any time limits set for your introduction.
(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 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

Answering “So, What Do You Do For A Living?”

By Sabrina Risley

One of the most popular questions asked of the professional at a networking event is “So, what do you do for a living?” or “What is your business?” Many can’t wait for their opportunity to share their story, yet answering this question is often worrisome to professionals. How should you answer and where do you start? 
 
My studies have taught me that there are a few key factors to bear in mind before diving into your answer.  
 
Be confident. Let others see how excited you are about your products or services. If you are not excited, others won’t be either. 
 
Just be yourself. Be authentic and let your personality shine through. People buy from and refer to people they know and have come to like and trust so let them get to know the real you.
 
Be clear and concise. Prepare your answer in advance if needed so you can remain focused and to the point. Refrain from outlining the many products and services you offer as this can be overwhelming to the other person.
 
Do not sell. All you want to do is pique the other person’s interest. If they ask follow up questions, expand a little but don’t push too hard. Provide information as they continue to ask questions either because they are curious, perhaps interested in buying or they may have someone in mind to refer to you.  However, avoid going into “hard sell” mode.
 
Highlight the benefits. Perhaps the most important is to focus on the benefits you provide and how you or your products/services help others.   For example, if you are an accountant with a firm that provides tax, bookkeeping, and payroll services, you want to focus on what these services help others achieve. What is the benefit you provide your clients?
Accountant: I take the frustrating tasks off my clients’ hands and, in the process, help them save thousands of dollars each year.
 
Personal Trainer: I help people reclaim their confidence and easily maintain a healthy lifestyle.
 
Personal Chef:  I bring families back to the dinner table to reconnect and catch up on their day.
 
Help them understand. As follow up questions are asked, a great way to boil it down is to explain your ideal client. 
 
Accountant: My ideal client is a small business owner who complains about filing tax returns. I can help them set up a system or take the task off their hands and keep them compliant.
 
Personal Trainer: A good referral for me is the frustrated yo-yo dieter.  I’ve helped many lose weight who had previously complained that their dieting efforts never paid off.
 
Personal Chef:  My clients tend to be dual-income families with children who have trouble getting dinner on the table to eat together as a family.
 
Bob Burg (co-author of Go-Givers Sell More) reminds us of the sales expression:   You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person, and you can’t say the right thing to the wrong person
 
So don’t get too caught up in your answer or a specific outcome you want to achieve. Focus on the benefits, how you help others, be yourself, and keep it short and sweet. If the person you’re speaking with isn’t interested in your product/service, perhaps they know someone who is.
(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

Managing The Fear And Anxieties of Finding Another Job

By: Stanley Popovich

Layoffs in today’s business world are common and with it comes the fear and anxiety of finding another job. With this in mind, here is a list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their stresses and anxieties in finding a new job.

A technique that can be used to reduce the stress of finding another job is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps and then complete each of the smaller tasks one at a time. For instance, the first thing you should do is to determine what kind of job you want. Once you know what you are looking for, the next step is to update and prepare your resume. Once that is finished, you should then concentrate on finding the companies that interest you and send your resume to them. Once you submit your resume, the next step is to prepare for the job interview. By completing these smaller tasks, you will reduce your stress and anxiety and increase your chances of finding another job.

Sometimes you may get depressed during your job search. Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that make us feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements.

In addition, it also helps to write down a list of things you are thankful for in this world. For instance:  good health, a good marriage, lots of friends, being smart and resourceful, and a good education are things that any person can be thankful for. Whenever you get discouraged in finding another job, take out your list and focus on the things that make you happy. This technique will make you feel better and give you more encouragement to continue with the job search.

Sometimes, we may be nervous doing a certain task that may be scary. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you have an interview in a few days. Before the big day comes, imagine that you are in the interview. Imagine that you are talking to the manager about your qualifications. By practicing the interview using your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

Finding a new job can be tough, however remember to take it one day at a time. While the consequences of a particular fear may seem real, there are usually other factors that can’t be anticipated and can affect the results of any situation. Focus on the present and do your best each day.

Our anxieties and stresses can be difficult to manage when finding a new job. Managing your stress during a job search takes practice. Be patient and in time you will become better in dealing with your anxieties.

Contributed by:

Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” – an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/.

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