Articles by Hazel M. Walker

Do You Know Your Referral Percentage?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

I regularly meet with prospects and help them understand how much business they are getting from their network and what is being left behind. It’s a very enlightening exercise and students are always dismayed to learn how little they are actually tapping into thier network.

How about you, do you know your referral percentage? No? Don’t worry, most people don’t know and have never given it much thought. So, grab a pencil and a calculator and I will help you find your referral percentage, here we go.

1. List 4 people in your network (not clients) who have passed you the most business by referral this year. For instance Tom, Sue, Bill, Kim.

2. Now, for each person write the number of referrals they have passed you in the last 12 months. For our example, Tom=4, Sue=12, Bill=5 and Kim=8

3. Think about each of those people, how many people do you believe each of them know? On average, we each know about 250 people. So, Tom=300, Sue=500, Bill=800 and Kim=200

4. Next step, add all of the referrals you have received together, in our example it would be 29, next add all of the people your network knows together. In our example, it would be 1800.

5. Last step, you will need your calculator to complete the process, divde the number of referrals you have recieved by the number of people in their networks. For our example, 29 referrals divided by 1800 equals .016%

What is your referral percentage? Are you surprised? Did you have 4 referral sources? The very first time I did this exercise I got .010 and I was speechless as many of my students are when they are taken through this exercise.

So let me ask you the most important question; what are you going to do to change this percentage? What steps can you take to develop a higher referral percentage?

Hint: Stop adding people to your network! Most of us already know everyone we need to know to make a wonderful living. If we just learn to develop our relationships and put a system in place that supports both ourselves and our network we would see an increase in our results.

Start with the 4 people you listed here and if you did not have four then work on the ones you have. When you are sure that you have developed that relationship, then move on to create a new one, until your have your “Four”. Manage the 4-6 closest relationships and you will raise your referral percentage.

Take a look at Hazel’s ebook, 26 Strategies for Generating Referrals.

Hazel Walker
Referral Institute, llc
BNI
hazel@bni.com

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement

The Fifth Step in the Referral Process

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Here is the one you have been looking for. The last step in the referral process is a relatively easy step for your referral source, assuming they have been trained properly. This is the step where the work you have done thus far turns into the possibility of business. It is the appointment. When trained correctly your referral source can now set up an appointment for you and the prospect to meet. They have done a good job identifying need and building your credibility when they offer your company as the solution, now they set the appointment.

This is your opportunity to meet the referred prospect, build some rapport with them and possibly close a deal. If your referral source has done a good job they have passed you a level 10 referral, which means the deal is done, all that is left is the paper work! The higher the level of the referral, the less work in the sales process you will have to do to close the deal. With proper training and preparation your referral source should be able to pass you high level referrals consistently.

Note: Anything your referral sources are doing for you, you should be doing the same for them.

It is important to remember in this step you have one key commitment to your referrals source, you must leave them looking good to the prospect, no matter what. That is what they trust you to do, if that means, walking away from the deal because it is not a good fit, that is your obligation to the referral source.

Remember: A referral is an opportunity to do business, it is not a guaranteed sale.

Once you have had the appointment with the prospect, don’t forget to call your referral source and let them know how the meeting went. Review your referral process and discuss what went well and what might have been done differently in the process.

Passing referrals is a business process and you should have a carefully constructed strategy around the getting and giving or referral. The process is much like dancing, you both must learn all the steps and practice them often. Both the referral source and you must be in sync with one another, constantly going over the steps and making sure the process is working for both of you otherwise, you may be stepping on someones toes.

Hazel Walker
Referral Institute, llc
BNI
hazel@bni.com

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement

Develop Your Networking Relationships

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Business people spend a lot of time networking, some times it is important to slow down and develop relationships with the people that you have added to your network. In the book “The 29% Solution” by Dr. Ivan R Misner and Michelle Donovan, they discuss tactics for building better relationships with your network members. The more we get to know our network members the more credibility we build with them.

Here are 5 questions to ask your network member that will allow you to develop a deeper relationship.

1. What would yo like to accomplish with your business this year?

2. What are your challenges this year?

3. What is standing in the way of your meeting yur goals?

4. How can I help you?

5. What do you need to help you be successful?

Pay attention to what you hear, make notes and set out to help your network member. It is important to spend time working on your network instead of doing more networking. The deeper you develop your network the more valuable it becomes.

Hazel Walker
Referral Institute, llc
BNI
hazel@bni.com

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement

Whale Hunting, Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Often when I am networking I hear small business owners say things like “I really want to have Eli Lilly, AT&T or GE as one of my clients.” Whenever I hear this I cringe, because I know that it is not enough to want one of these giant companies as a client, you have to have a plan. Not just a plan to land the deal, but a plan to find it and then how are you going to maintain that client.

In her book, Whale Hunting, Barbara Weaver Smith and Tom Searcy, uses the analogy of how the Inuit of Alaska hunted Whales to feed their villages to how small companies can land the Whale of their own. This is an easy analogy follow and carries with it a powerful story of perseverance, commitment, strategy and success.

Barbara and Tom layout the strategy for researching which whale you want to hunt, how to research your whale, capturing your whale, and celebrating your whale. This is a book that you must read if you are really interested in landing your own whale.

Networking is great, but you cannot ask for a referral to a whale if you do not have a plan for landing and managing that whale. There have been several occasions when I knew I could get a person in the door of their whale but I also knew once caught they would not be able to keep the whale.

I cannot recommend this book enough, it is an easy read, and not only will you learn how to land your own whale there is a lot of very interesting history in this book that holds your attention as you read in amazement what the Alaskan Inuit could do with a row boat and harpoon. The planning, the implementing and the celebration are inspiring.

Hazel Walker
Referral Institute, llc
BNI
hazel@bni.com

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement