In referral marketing, there is you, your referral partner and the person he is referring you to. It takes all three components working in harmony for it to succeed.

There are people out there who need and/or want your services and there are also those who don’t know about you specifically and would benefit from your services.

Your network must be an active group of committed connectors, people who are genuinely willing to listen to others they are in a relationship with and take action on your behalf.

There is a process or methodology to create the referral outcome you seek. So, just as the magician waves the magic wand, the referral marketing specialist uses his tried-and-tested techniques and processes to create a referral marketing network.

One + One = Two

Many people tell me they are natural “networkers”. They bond easily with others and find it easy to build business relationships. While you may be a “born networker”, you still have to get out of your cave to build a referral network.

Many people are “cave dwellers” and are not aware of it. For some, their day unfolds with them waking up in their cave apartment.  Then, they hop into their mobile cave on four wheels and drive to their cave office.

During the day they may leave that cave to visit other caves — the post office cave, the coffee shop cave or the restaurant cave.

It may appear they are out and about. In reality, however, they are socialising with a tribe of cave dwellers. Living life as a cave dweller doesn’t mean One + One = Two. Actually it still equals One!

Break out of this routine with a better purpose and clearer direction. At your next networking function, you should:

1.  Set goals before you attend a networking function, aim to meet at least one or perhaps more people depending on the size of the function.

2.  Spend quality time with each person you meet to learn a little about them and their business. Be sure to share something about yourself as well.

3.  Listen carefully, focus only on the person you are speaking to and participate in the conversation.

4.  If you have made a strong connection, you should schedule a meeting with people that could be prospective referral partners or clients or schedule a face-to-face introduction when you have identified needs that one of your referral partners can potentially help them with.

5.  Send a thank you card to everyone you connected strongly with. You never know who they know, and it increases the likelihood that you will be remembered long after the event.

Remember that building a referral network will require a serious investment of your most precious commodity — time. However, investing time will be worth the effort and, providing you use it wisely, it will return rewards for your efforts.

A lot of business owners spend more than just time on getting more business — they invest large sums of money in marketing and advertising campaigns.

Others rely on old-fashioned cold calling with dubious results.

Research by sales professionals show that using the cold calling technique returns about a 3 per cent success rate.

If you do not have the money to spend on expensive marketing campaigns or do not like cold calling, then referrals are definitely the way to go.

All good magicians know that a good magic “trick” is simply a process which is well practised and systematically delivered with a flourish and takes advantage of the relationship the magician has with his audience.

Doing business by referral is about a systematic approach. It is about implementing a process and most of all, it is about relationships.  If you practise and implement the process of referral marketing, then One + One will actually equal Two. 

Hopefully, this formula will lead to many more referrals in your business.