How to create your first referral network
People have asked you a thousand times if you recommend a person, place, product or service. Often, you have an answer, referring your friends to others you trust. Yet, instead of creating value from this network, we do the below, on repeat.
You turn up to a business networking event, spot a person standing alone or a small group and approach. You walk over, you wipe the perspiration off your palms ready for the handshake.
You: “Hi, I’m Joe from Quality Accounting, may I join you.”
Them: “Sure, I’m Sandy from Fast Mortgages, nice to meet you.”
This introduction is often followed by an awkward chat and may or may not end up being valuable. We get home, partly blame ourselves and try to improve how we are at these events by reading articles. We then repeat the above and prioritise these public events.
Who to focus on to create your First Referral Network.
Let’s now talk about the better and more enjoyable way. Focus on the group of businesses you’ve already been referring people to and refining your networking formula. Starting with this group will create benefit quickly because you already like the business owners, the businesses and their products and services. These businesses are the most valuable first network for your business.
To turn this into a valuable network, you need to show leadership to and do four things:
- Help these businesses understand what you do and how you can help their customers.
- Get to know these businesses and how they can help your customers.
- Start giving them referrals from your customers.
- Ask them to look out for referrals for your business
Where should our Referral Network meet.
You should avoid places like coffee shops or restaurants for your in first and ongoing face to face catch ups. Preferably you should aim for somewhere quiet like an office or someone’s house. The first meeting should focus on understanding each others products and services and getting to know each other. If you feel like you know each other well enough, consider reading our article on referral network huddles.
As a result, you’ll spend more time with people you like and care about. At the same time, every member will benefit and create value for each other.
In future articles, we discuss who should be in your referral networks and why referral networks increase loyalty.
Harvey Pence helps businesses to grow faster with a referral network. The Harvey Pence Referral Platform and our Comprehensive Guide are the best resources to help you create, improve and grow your referral network.