The Referral 1, 2, 3

This article is about how happy clients will automatically make connections for you. What you should be listening for and how to actually make the connection happen.

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Networking is making a connection that makes sense to others

I’ve known Adelia for some time before she actually had the time and opportunity to attend one of our briefings. When Adelia finally made it, it became clear that she was in agreement with most of our principles and loved our way of organising a network. We always ask for feedback at the end of any service we provide and I found there were a few people that our new found advocate wanted to connect us to.

The first two were easy because it could be easily explained by email. The others would take longer because they were two people who had taken her into confidence about the concerns they had for their business. It wouldn’t be right to use a short message to discuss private and confidential matters, unless permission has already been given.

When is the right time to ask?

True to her word Adelia made connections within 48 hours, and in my experience it is rare for business people to reply immediately to those that are not already their customers. I want business owners to prioritise their inbox. Clients receive a reply quickly, prospects are next in line, and subcontractors or suppliers often take a backseat, until they have made it clear they are interested in helping rather than taking another order.

So it is up to me to use a diary to ensure that the warmth does not go cold.

A diary is key for any networker

A diary is a networker’s best friend. It allows them to plan so they are not getting over networked. It allows them to place time in the diary to follow up with the people they are going to meet. And it ensures they can follow up with people who will be interested in their services.

When the diary note pops up it’s important to ensure it is dealt with because an endless list of “to-dos” will just bring you down. Most diaries give you the opportunity to set a recurring reminder so if you email or contact someone that isn’t available at that moment you can simply reset the reminder, allowing a reasonable time for them to get back to you. If you have a customer relationship management system then I am sure it will have a similar feature and may allow you to chunk your work and avoid doing things singularly that you could have done in batches.

Wrap up: When you meet one person that can connect to 2 or 3 others you are going to need tools to remind you, and them. It’s best to master the tools already available to you – create a reminder in your diary that you won’t ignore. Use tools well before investing in any more.

Top tip: Put the time in the diary to follow up at the same time you put the original event in your diary. 

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