I woke up at 5 a.m. that day, it was drizzling outside and I haven’t had my coffee yet. But when a lady stood up and said that she had 10 referrals for other members seated around her, I was no longer asleep. If you are in business, you probably know the value of 10 referrals in a week.
Early March, on a rainy day, I landed up in Parrot Jungle conference room, in South Beach, Miami. We were about 65 of us, seated in a U shaped conference table. I visited Business Networking International - Miami Beach Chapter’s weekly meeting.
There was at least one other tenner on the same day. Many contributed five or more referrals. A conservative estimate showed that at least 65 referrals would have gotten passed around that day! The Chapter proudly displays on its Web site that it generated around $220K worth of business last month. On an average, that is $40K worth of business per member per year! This is all through just one source!
You Can’t Ask for Referrals
You have a stumbling block whenever you want to make referrals work for you - referrals are out of your control! You can’t ask for referrals. Even if you do, they have to have someone who wants your product/service. There are other methods that may work – but, asking for referrals gives you limited success.
Make Referrals Work for You
It’s often said that very few businesses have a formal way of making referrals work though we get most business through them. Well, here’s a successful way to do it. BNI has a format, like weekly meetings; giving you time to talk about your business so everyone knows about it, and focusing on referrals so that actual business happens. It works! And I think this is one of the few ways to make referrals work for you.
It’s perfect for Small Businesses
Referral organizations promote networking and focuses on referrals. They make you learn the value of giving business to others, as you get business for yourself. For someone who is a terrific networker, referral organizations are probably not required. But most small businesses are not good at that.
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Chaitanya Sagar is the Founder and CEO of p2w2 (for PeopleToWorkWith), which helps small businesses outsource services like SEO, Link Building, business and financial planning, software, virtual assistance, and research. p2w2 focuses on building relationships with vendors so you can save time and focus on your business.