Success Through Referrals

Are You Just a Hamster In a Wheel?

Are You Just a Hamster In a Wheel?

We have all seen a hamster running in a wheel.  They are always working hard, yet going nowhere.  This is my analogy for most small business owners.  We work hard day after day, yet each year we seem to be exactly where we were the previous year.  Now the question is why?  Why is it that we struggle to move our business a head?  Why is it that we can't seem to move the wheel?

We have all seen a hamster running in a wheel.  They are always working hard, yet going nowhere.  This is my analogy for most small business owners.  We work hard day after day, yet each year we seem to be exactly where we were the previous year.  Now the question is why?  Why is it that we struggle to move our business a head?  Why is it that we can't seem to move the wheel?

I believe it is the result of something we have all heard before, that too many of us spend too much time working IN the business vs. ON the business.  We get so wrapped up in the day to day operations that we never look at how to improve the overall business.  The day to day activities are like the next wrung on the wheel, they just keep coming and coming with no end in sight.  We get so busy trying to keep up we never figure out how to actually move the wheel.

So, what does this have to do with our networking efforts?  Truthfully, everything.  We get caught in the same wheel when we are networking, and in fact we never look at how networking can actually help us move the wheel.  Too often when we network we get caught looking for one particular type of referral that we call a Transactional Based Referral.  We seem to laser focus on the next customer we can find.  We are always looking for that next wrung, and don't think about how we can be more efficient, and effective with our networking time.  The same mistake we are making daily in our business.

How can you start moving the wheel?  When you got out networking make sure you spend time focusing on developing Relationship Based Referrals.  Relationship Based Referrals are the Golden Goose vs. the golden egg.  These referrals may not actually do business with you, but based on their customer base can pass you referrals throughout the year.  They fit in what is called your Contact Sphere.  They are in the professions who are meeting the same customers you want to meet but are not in competition with you.  Think about it this way: if you were to get just 5 of these referrals this year, and they on average passed you just 1 referral a quarter, then you would predictably have 20 referrals for next year already lined up.  You wouldn't know who the referrals are, but you now can predict 20 referrals from those relationships.  That means you are already ahead 20 referrals from where you were at the beginning of last year.  Your wheel just moved.

Now, how many referrals you can get from these relationships, and how many of these relationships you can get referred to, is completely dependent on your networking efforts and skills.  You need to create the right relationships with people who can refer you to the Golden Goose, as well as with the Golden Goose in order to see the results.  You need to invest time on yourself, making yourself the most effective and efficient networker you can be.   Far to often people look at time they spend on training, and networking as well, as time away from their business.  It is not.  This time is by definition time you are investing ON your business.  Learning the skills of networking, and developing these relationships, will help you move your wheel, and make your business more efficient, more effective, and a whole lot more enjoyable!