Tag Archives: referral

How to Politely and Effectively Close a Conversation at Your Next Networking Event

We spend a lot of time talking about how to start a conversation. But what we often forget to spend time with is how to also leave that conversation just as easily as we entered it. When you attend a networking event, it’s important to connect with multiple people rather than spending the entire time with just a few.

Everyone knows and understands this part of networking, but sometimes we get stuck. These tips will help you step out smoothly, allowing you can continue networking with ease.

Use a common excuse

Most networking events provide you plenty of outs in case you get stuck somewhere too long. You could say you need to grab a refreshment, take a break to use the restroom or make a quick call.

Ask for a business card

A natural way to close the conversation at a networking event is to ask for their business card. This is the networking equivalent of serving coffee and dessert when you’d like to end your dinner party. If your conversation has reached a plateau or you’d like to network with others in the room, ask for the person’s business card. Alternatively, you could offer your card.

Introduce the person to someone else

Introduce them or bring them along as you join another conversation. If you join another discussion then the conversation you were having with the original person essentially unofficially dissolves. Be subtle and genuine when you do this. If you do things in a fake, insincere way the other person will feel like you’re blowing them off by trying to foist them on someone else.

Summarise and close out the conversation

To wrap up the conversation and excuse yourself, summarize the topic of your exchange. Say something simple but direct like “It was great to learn more about your business. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. I’m going to get some fresh air/grab a drink/catch up with so-and-so,” Then move to another location.

Always be sure to leave things on a positive note. No matter how you excuse yourself, express that you enjoyed the conversation.

Finally, here are some more example to try:

  1. “Please excuse me, I’m going to make a quick restroom trip. It was lovely to meet you!”
  2. “I’ve had such a nice time talking to you. And I’ll definitely connect with you on LinkedIn so I can keep up with all of your innovative ventures. In the meantime, I’m going to go [grab some hors d’oeuvres/say hi to a friend/go to the next panel].”
  3. “I’m sorry to leave so quickly, but it’s been a pleasure and I hope we can reconnect soon. Do you have a business card?”
  4. “I’m going to mingle a bit more, but before I go, can I introduce you to someone? [Introduce them to each other.] I’ll let you talk”

Get More Referrals For Your Coaching Small Business – Referral TV With Michael Griffiths

In this ‘Get More Referrals Today’ podcast Michael Griffiths the #1 authority on referral marketing and founder of Referral Marketing Guru shows you how to generate more referrals with the right sorts of referral partners. Please make sure you subscribe for great referral, networking and partnership tips and tricks to grow your business. Creating referral partnerships is the cornerstone of our Million Dollar Referral System and why you are going to get referrals. You need to understand what makes a great referral partner for you and then where to go and find your referral partners. Finally once you have referral partners you need to create action plans to ensure your business referrals come into your business. Getting referrals is a smart business marketing strategy and one that all small business marketing plans should contain. As Brian Tracy has always said building your referral teams is a much smarter way of getting referrals and certainly easier than business networking events. It is a smart way to build your coaching business. Remember to leave a comment with any questions, share, like and subscribe.

Building Your Million Dollar Referral System With The Social Media Marketing Channel

In this Get More Referrals Today podcast we look at the Social Media Marketing Channel in our Million Dollar Referral System that we help coaches, consultants and professional service business build. Most small business coaches and consultants don’t even come come to using social media properly to generate more leads and fill their leads bucket. We look at the 4 key components and how you can use the referral system correctly to have a steady flow of leads and prospects knocking at your door. The #1 referral coaching training around right here on Referral TV.

How To Use Our Networks More Effectively

In this ‘ Get More Referrals Today’ podcast we look at the 2nd marketing channel in the Referral Machine system, ‘Your Networks’. For most people they are lucky if they are using 15% of their networks and therefore not creating as many opportunities as what they should be and leaving lots of money on the table. When you treat your networks as a transaction it makes it very hard for them to create new opportunities for you. Discover some simple changes you could make to benefit greatly from the networks you have around you.

 

Simple Tips to Get More Customer Referrals

To get more good customers, focus on your best customers

Your most valuable customers are most likely your most loyal ones and most likely to refer. Look through your CRM system for your best customers and leverage your personal relationship to ask for referrals.

Ask after the checkout process

Timing is a critical factor in referral requests. The end of the checkout process is a good place for it. At this point, it won’t distract your visitor from converting, and given the fact that they just converted, they probably have a positive attitude towards you.

Use a cheeky questionnaire

If you find a direct request for referrals doesn’t quite work for you, you can hide the request in the shape of a questionnaire as well. Start with, “How likely are you to advise [insert your product, service or business] to a friend?” Instead of asking for a favour, you start by asking for their opinion, which makes them feel valued, and boosts their self-esteem. At the same time you make them realize how much they appreciate your service/product and direct their mind towards the idea of referring.

Get close to their friends and minimize the effort with autofill

Sorry to say it, but most customers are lazy in nature. But if you can make it easier for them, they’re more likely to refer you. You can try adding auto fill forms or integrate the referral platform to their social networks and allow them to pick the referrals they would like to make.

If you’re after reviews, make it super easy

Follow these steps to make it as easy as possible so you don’t lose them along the way.

  • Add links to your website pages (in multiple places that make sense) for all the review sites on which you appear (Yelp, Angie’s List, Google, etc.).
  • Put links to review sites in all your communications: In your emails, your Facebook company page, in direct mail or deliveries, really any point of contact you have.
  • Make it easy for customers to find the answers to “What do I do?” and “Why me?” no matter where they go. For example, you can put them in downloadable PDFs on your website and then share that link through all your communication channels
  • Help them figure out how to describe their experience. Many people are afraid of looking silly in print or while taking to peers, so make it easy to find other reviews people have done as models. Plus, this will enhance your social proof.

How Active Listening Impacts Networking

Listening is one of the most important skills you can have and how well you listen has a major impact on almost every area of your life as any social interaction requires effective listening skills.

Let’s explore how this impacts your networking abilities. Have you ever been caught mid-way through a conversation at a networking event, only to lose the person’s interest along with their potential referral partnership?

Unfortunately, you’re not alone. Research suggests that we remember between 25% and 50% of what we hear. Wow! So what do you do? The way to improve your listening skills is to practice “active listening,” where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent.

To do this, start by paying careful attention to the other person. Avoid getting distracted or bored.

To enhance your listening skills, you need to let the other person know that you’re listening to them and sometimes a simple acknowledgement is al it takes. This can be something as simple as a nod of the head or a simple “uh huh.”

Active Listening Tips: There are five key active listening techniques. They all help you ensure that you hear the other person, and that the other person knows you are hearing what they say.

  1. Pay Attention: Give the speaker your undivided attention, and acknowledge the message. Recognize that non-verbal communication also “speaks” loudly. Ex: nod, avoid distractions.
  2. Show That You’re Listening: Use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention. Ex: Nod occasionally, smile and use other facial expressions, make sure your posture is open and inviting, Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like “yes,” and “uh huh.”
  3. Provide Feedback: Our personal filters, assumptions, judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear. As a listener, focus on understanding what’s being said. You may need to reflect and ask questions. Ex: Reflect what has been said by paraphrasing. “What I’m hearing is,” and “Sounds like you are saying,” are great ways to reflect back. Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean when you say.” “Is this what you mean?” or Summarize the speaker’s
  4. Defer Judgment: Don’t interrupt. It frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of the message.
  5. Respond Appropriately: Active listening is a model for respect and understanding. Ex: Be candid, open, and honest in your response, assert your opinions respectfully.

Building Good Referral Karma: How to Generate more Business Through Your Happy Customers

Happy customers are your most powerful business tool. When you make your customers happy, they’re more likely to share your business. However, even though for you it’s obvious how much you appreciate referrals, the average customer simply doesn’t think about it.

There’s nothing wrong with creating awareness. Check out these tips to get your customers thinking about you and referring their friends to you when they’re happy.

Start with your customer

Before asking your best customers to refer, you need to make sure you’ve created a meaningful, long-lasting relationship with them. By delivering a delightful customer experience, your customers will be ready and willing to refer.

Add a referral note to your products

You could include a note in the box of your product asking whether they know somebody that might be interested and giving them instructions on how your customer can establish a connection. The moment your customer receives a package delivery is one of positive excitement and it’s a great idea to catch them while they’re in a good mood.

Reward your customer for referring

There are a lot of ways to do this. You can offer your referrers monetary-related gifts, such as discounts on future products/services, gift cards, or even cash. Make sure there’s a short time-window between the referral and the handout of the reward (if possible immediate).

Reward your (potential) new customer for being referred

Friends don’t spam each other. But real friends don’t keep great opportunities for themselves either. Therefore, splitting up the referral gift between your customer and the new referral is an extremely powerful practice.

Show you care – say thank you

When people refer to you they are doing you a favor. When they then don’t hear back from you they feel unappreciated. Get back to your referring customers whenever possible and thank them for their efforts. Thank them regardless of whether they successfully generated customers for you or not. Positive feedback stimulates more referrals.

Return the favour

Referring customers to your strategic partnerships or business acquaintances is a great way to build up referral karma and receive back in the future. Make it a habit to go through the customers you have the best relationship with and think about what services could benefit them. Refer them on and make sure these companies know the referrals came from you.

Building a Smart Habit: Asking your Network for Referrals

Smart entrepreneurs know how to build good habits for their business and many have managed to build successful businesses almost solely on referrals. You may have heard the story about how a successful entrepreneur became so good at asking for his referrals. As the story goes, when he was an eager young sales apprentice, his manager trained him well. Every time he glanced at his watch, which he did often in his zeal to stay on schedule, it meant it was time to ask for a referral. Eventually, it became second nature. He was building his smartest business habit.

Below are more easy ways to start developing good referral-building habits:

New Customers

When you begin working with a new customer, make referrals part of your initial agreement. “If I do a great job for you–and I will–you agree to give me X number of referrals.” Chances are your customer will be impressed by your dedication and drive.

Compliments

Whenever a customer compliments you, respond with a thank you, quickly followed by a referral request. For example, “I’m so pleased you’re happy with my work. Do you know anyone else who can benefit from my services?”

Client meetings

Use every client meeting as an opportunity to collect referrals. To keep yourself on track, jot a reminder down in your meeting preparation notes. Make it one of your standard talking points.

Weekly Goals

Set a weekly goal for yourself. Keep track of the number of referrals you ask for each day. You don’t need to limit your requests to clients; you can also ask business associates, acquaintances and prospects.

Networking

Make the most of every networking opportunity. Step out of your comfort zone at networking events and set a goal to talk to at least three new people. Plan in advance what you might say. We’re all drawn to interesting, enthusiastic people.

Be Specific

Always be specific when asking for a referral. Looking for high net worth individuals? Say so. Interested in midsize companies? Let them know. If you don’t tell your contacts who your target customer is, you’ll waste time pursuing leads you can’t use.

Still Need Reasons to Believe in Referral Marketing? 15 Facts About Why Referrals Matter for Your Business

Who doesn’t love hearing about a great product or service from a trustworthy source?  And who could you trust more than your friends and family? People have made purchasing decisions, done business and developed preferences for centuries based on the power of word-of-mouth.

We are social beings and exist in community with one another. People seek truth and share their opinions on what they’re buying and using, they want to share the value they are getting. And whether they share their opinions online or offline – you want your customers to share them so they can create real value for you and your business. If you still don’t believe referral marketing matters for your business, or you underestimate the power of a good referral, you need to read through these marketing statistics.

  • Millennials ranked word-of-mouth as the #1 influencer in their purchasing decisions about clothes, packaged goods, big-ticket items (like travel and electronics), and financial products. Baby Boomers also ranked word-of-mouth as being most influential in their purchasing decisions about big-ticket items and financial products.
  • 84% of consumers reported always or sometimes taking action based on personal recommendations. 70% said they did the same of online consumer opinions.
  • Word-of-mouth has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54%.
  • 91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth when making their buying decision.
  • 61% of IT buyers report that colleague recommendations are the most important factor when making a purchase decision.
  • 56% of B2B purchasers look to offline word-of-mouth as a source of information and advice, and this number jumps to 88% when online word-of-mouth sources are included.
  • On social media, 58% of consumers share their positive experiences with a company, and ask family, colleagues, and friends for their opinions about brands.
  • 72% say reading positive customer reviews increase their trust in a business; it takes, on average, 2-6 reviews to get 56% of them to this point.
  • 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
  • 68% trust online opinions from other consumers, which is up 7% from 2007 and places online opinions as the third most trusted source of product information.
  • 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.
  • 79% of people say their primary reason for “liking” a company’s Facebook page is to get discounts. 81% also said they’re influenced by what their friends share on social media.
  • 66% of respondents under the age of 34 are likely to give a referral after receiving social recognition.
  • More than 50% of respondents are likely to give a referral if offered a direct incentive, social recognition or access to an exclusive loyalty program.

Statistics provided by the follow sources: Ogilvy/Google/TNS, Nielsen, BrightLocal, MarketShare, Software Advice, Market Influence.

 

LinkedIn: How to Grow Your Network With the Captive Audience You Could Be Missing

When it comes to LinkedIn, the age-old cliché is right – You never know who you’ll meet.

LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool for so many reasons. But what’s one of its best features? The fact that you can see exactly who’s been checking you out with one click of a button.

It’s great flattery when people are viewing your profile and piques all of our interest, but the problem is – this is a huge opportunity to expand your network – but unfortunately, most people don’t do a single thing with the information. And you’re missing out.

So how can you start making some new connections and grow your network? It’s just an easy start to a conversation. When someone has viewed your profile, and you’ve checked them out and find there could be some mutual benefits to connecting and growing each other’s networks, your only goal is to have your connection request approved.

You won’t have or want to do this with every person who views your profile (that’ll get exhausting), but when you find someone who you genuinely believe you could help each other out, reach out.

This is an easy message to send and your next best step is to do a little detective work yourself to find out more about the person so you can reach out with a personal message when you request a connection.

Start things off with a simple introduction, try to include something that you might have in common and ask how they came to view your profile. This part is important and often overlooked, but you want to know exactly what brought them there, and it’s perfectly fine to ask. Here’s an example:

Hey Jamie,

My name is Louise, and I’m a Sydney-based freelance writer. I’m always looking to expand my network of contacts (especially with fellow UNSW alumni!). I noticed you visited my profile on LinkedIn, what brought you by? Did I do something? 

I’d love to connect with you here. Looking forward to keeping in touch and finding ways to help each other out.

Best,

Louise

And it’s that simple. This message does more than strike up a generic conversation; it asks the person to explain exactly what they were interested in. Knowing this provides you with a clear foundation and direction for the relationship or potential next interaction. Which is where it all begins.