Just because everyone knows they need to network for more referrals does not mean everyone knows how to network for referrals. This paradox has led far too many business owners and sales professionals to be misled in how word-of-mouth marketing actually works. Don’t believe me? Let me ask you a couple of quick questions.
If you are looking to grow your business and increase the amount of referrals coming to you, it is time to get out of your office and get to work.
Referrals are not going to magically appear for you. Your business isn’t going to grow and become more efficient, effective, and even enjoyable just because you hope it will. If you want to get more referrals then you need to get out there and create them. You need to be out actively meeting with other people and creating the referral opportunities. There is a reason it is called net-WORKING.
Do you have some extra free time on your hands? Do you find yourself sitting around with nothing to do? If you are like every other business owner or sales professional the answer is probably NO!
One of the biggest challenges, and objections, I hear from people when it comes to networking is that they don't have enough time in the day to go out "networking". In this video blog we discuss this issue and give some tips on how to find the time to grow your business through referrals.
Do you know what the three R's in the word referral stand for? Their meaning is the key to success in word-of-mouth marketing.
To truly understand what the purpose of "networking" really is, it is important to understand the meaning of the Three R's in the word Referral.
If you always remember what these three R's stand for you will have the right "mindset" when networking with others.
The Three Rs stand for:
Have you been setting your competitors up for success through your networking efforts?
Your first response may be one of immediate denial, and you may even think I am crazy for asking, but let's think about it for a minute.
One of the biggest challenges with networking and referral generation is that it takes time to see results. While we would love to see referrals start flying in right away, it just doesn't happen. Just as we need to invest time consistently working out before we start to really see the results we desire in getting fit, the same is true when networking for referrals.
As passionate as I am about word-of-mouth marketing and growing your business through high quality referrals, I have to admit that far too many professionals are wasting their time networking.
Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that networking is essential for anyone in business to be doing, and it is a skill we must all have if we ever truly want to build a consistent flow of referrals coming into our business.
This past weekend I listened to a short and GREAT audio book titled, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam. I highly recommend it, and it only takes about an hour to listen to.
The book focuses on how the most successful people in the world utilize as much time as they can in the day, and the different ways they use the mornings to get things done that the rest of us struggle with. This includes things like exercising, reading, meditating, and yes… NETWORKING. This short audio book was motivating for me because I have always believed that the morning, while everyone else is sleeping, is the best time to get things done, but it isn't always easy.
In the final blog post of this series, I want to talk about the main lesson here, and that is what makes a sniper so successful? How is it that they can achieve success in such difficult situations? How is it they are able to make such difficult shots that they are needed as specialists?
The answer is…training. A sniper goes through CONTINUOUS training to make themselves the best they can possibly be. They train in a variety of conditions. They train with a variety of weapons. They train for a wide variety of shots. The key to their success is that they train for it. They study and learn how to be a specialist. No one is just born a sniper. It isn't by chance they are able to make those amazing shots. It isn't that they were just luckier than others in the military, it is that they had the dedication to hone their craft.
A sniper is a highly trained marksman. According to Wikipedia a marksman is a person who is skilled in precision, or a sharpshooter. So how does this connect to you and your networking efforts?
When we think of a sniper we think of someone who locks into a specific target. They don't take a "shotgun approach" when they are targeting the enemy they are focused on their specific target. When we go networking we should be taking the same approach.
Far too often you will see professionals who are out asking referrals without having a specific target. You will hear them say things like anybody, or everybody is a good referral. The challenge with networking with no specific target in mind is you are relying on others to figure out what a good referral for you is and no one is willing to do that.
This past weekend I watched a show about Snipers on the History Channel and thought about how much we can all learn about business, and referrals, from these highly skilled individuals.
This will be a multi-part blog as there are a few key things I would like to focus on when it comes to referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.
The first thing that really stood out to me was a comment that a Sniper Trainer made when discussing a fellow sniper and an extremely difficult mission that person was in. The comment, which I have researched is a common one used by the military and it goes…Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
This is so simple, yet so true. The reason this sniper was successful against all odds in this mission was due to the amount of training, planning, and preparation that he had done prior to going into the mission. It wasn’t by chance that he brought the exact weapon needed, or luck that he was able to hit 16 targets in 30 seconds. His survival was due to the fact that he spent countless hours preparing himself to be able to handle that situation.