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:
a RELATIONSHIP where the other person is willing to RISK their REPUTATION for you.
When someone is willing to pass you a high quality referral this is exactly what they are doing. They are putting their reputation with their client, family member, or friend on the line for you. They are trusting that you will make their referral happy to have been referred to you and that you will not damage their relationship with the referral even if it doesn't work out.
It is important to realize this is what is happening. It is also important that before you have any expectations of receiving any type of referral from someone in your network that you ask whether you have you met this requirement? Have you built the appropriate relationship with this person where they will be comfortable risking their reputation? Have you earned that level of trust and confidence?
Networking is about developing these relationships with other professionals. It is about developing a web of contacts with people you give and receive referrals from. There will always be a time element involved in this process but the more you learn how to network effectively the less time it will take to see results.
So remember to always ask: Have I developed a RELATIONSHIP with this person where they are willing to RISK their REPUTATION for me?