The Powerful Referral – and what to do next….

Below is an extract from PR guru Fiona Scott. These words come from her June 2015 company newsletter Fiona Scott Media Consultancy and a reminder about the value of a good referrer and keeping that relationship building.

We often hear in business the phrase ‘it’s powerful to get referrals’. When you start out in business you hear it a lot, and you know it must be true, but seeing a referral in action is something else altogether.

For this reason I want to celebrate someone who has referred me on various occasions to her clients – Debbie Pepler of PepTalk UK.

I first met Debbie face to face at a women’s business lunch a few years ago when she came up to me, said she recognised me and we ought to talk. However, you know how it is, it was busy, she had arranged to meet a few other people and that ‘talk’ just didn’t happen on the day.

Then, out of the blue, she referred me to one of her clients, then another, then another, then another. I now work with a number of regular clients as a direct result of being referred by Debbie.

So what has this achieved? Clearly business growth for me. That is the obvious first result. However, it has also achieved other things too. For example whenever I see Debbie’s posts or stories on social media, I naturally like and share them. It just happens.

I’m conscious if Debbie refers me to any of her clients I want to first thank her, discuss the referral with her and let her know I value the referral – regardless of whether or not that referral leads to business of any kind.

I’m also conscious of the fact it’s good manners to let Debbie know that I’ve followed up on a referral and to let her know what happened. Regardless of outcome of that contact.

I trust in my bones, I will in turn refer Debbie to anyone when an occasion arises because she’s front and centre for me when it comes to high quality business coaching.

Believe me, I know lots of business coaches, I trust and value a handful. Debbie is one.

Thank you Debbie for trusting me with your precious clients and if any of you want to grow your business – try here first.

Following up after Networking Meetings

I am continually surprised that often it is me instigating the follow up and wonder if some of the people I meet at networking meetings make the time themselves to prepare and reflect on the meetings.

I attend about three Face-to-Face network meetings every week.  Each meeting I schedule time in my diary to prepare and that preparation includes my elevator pitch, (what my business is about) and how many new business people I would like to meet, or business cards I want to exchange with my own.  I also make sure I am up to speed with local news and have a few open questions to hand to ask those I meet, in order to stimulate conversation.

For me networking is about connecting with people – it is not selling them my services.  So when I return to my desk after a networking meeting, I reflect on each person I have met, either new or existing and I send them an email or an invite to connect on Linked In and thank them for their time, or make reference to the conversation we had.  If I said I would follow up with further information, I do just that and sometimes I make a telephone call to them!!

I am continually surprised that often it is me instigating the follow up and wonder if some of the people I meet at networking meetings make the time themselves to prepare and reflect on the meetings.  I bet many don’t.  I also wonder if the same people have clear objectives about what they want to achieve from attending these meetings – better still being part of the networking group?