Many of us spend large amounts of our time networking. We meet new people, we look for the potential to build a business relationship. And all being well, we hope that this brings us referrals.

Getting the entire process right is not complicated, but it does require an understanding of what make people likely to give and accept a referral, and how to set and time the process so what we are asking for a referral at a time where we are most likely to be successful.

But sometimes, in our desire to harvest whatever we can from our referral efforts, we tend to forget a few key points. Here are some of them.

 Not being consistent

You must understand the psychology of referral marketing.  Most people just want to send out a referral campaign once or twice, and not put any time, effort, or work into it.  This rarely works. Getting referrals via referral marketing is just not that easy.  It takes time, work, and energy.  There are people who send out a referral marketing campaign for two weeks and then get upset that they didn’t get any referrals. Getting business referrals just does not work like that.

 Not following up on referral leads

Just because someone is not interested in your services via a referral immediately does not mean that this person is not a serious potential prospect for you.  You need to build a hopper system to nurture your referrals.

 Failure to ask for referrals

It’s unbelievable, but nearly all businesses are too scared to ask the simple question: “could you please give me a referral?” The timing of their request for referrals is bad. If you ask for a referral before the relationship is strong enough, then you don’t have much chance of success. However, ask at the right time and you may just get more business than you can handle.

 Running campaigns that rely solely on referrals

Referral initiatives are there to SUPPLEMENT other marketing initiatives, not REPLACE them. They should be part of the campaign, not the campaign itself. They don’t make a referral process part of their day to day business. Referrals should be part of your life, not an occasional flurry when your business is having a bad month.

 Expecting that everyone will refer you

Not everyone referred to you is a good client referral. By the same token, not everyone can refer clients to you. One of the most common mistakes is starting out with the wrong expectations when it comes to referrals. If they’re in a referral group, these people think everyone in the group can refer them. If they have clients, they think all their clients can refer them. And that’s not true.