Articles Tagged ‘Referrals’

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

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Chaos in the World of Business Networking

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Referrals, leads, word of mouth, buzz marketing, viral marketing, networking, seven second introductions, elevator speeches, referral groups, business networking and social networking. It all blends, causing confusion, misunderstanding and a muddied mess in the business world.

You see it everyday, one networking event after another, business cards being passed, people shaking hands, and those ever so famous seven-second introductions being pitched. It’s the same people at every event, giving out the same cards, same pitch hoping for a different outcome.

We hear about networking as a way to grow our businesses, and everyone calls themselves networking experts. If you put the words “business networking” into Google, you will get 186,000,000 hits So called experts teach classes and workshops on how to do better seven second pitches, how to hand out their cards, what to do after the event, how to give more, and do more.

Recently I ask a young man how he got most of his business, “90% by Referral” he stated. When I ask what kind of system he had to generate and track that level of referrals his answer was; “I have a great yellow page ad that generates a lot of referrals for us.” While having a Yellow Page ad will create a lot of visibility for you it is not generating referrals.

What’s missing here? What is the plan? Where is the system? People who are networking have no idea where their business is coming from, who their referral sources are, what target market they are connecting with, or even if they are networking in the right place. When asked what their ROI is on all of their networking activities they will say things like, “Great” or “I have made a lot of business contacts and friends while networking”. Rarely if ever do they really know the ROI.

If business professionals are going to build their business by referral, there has to be a plan that goes beyond, what most networking gurus are teaching. Word of mouth does not mean business by referral, and Networking does not mean you will get referrals.

If you really want to build your business by referral, you have to develop a plan, a system. Much the same way as you developed a Marketing Plan.

Who are your customers, where do they live, what do they do, are they other businesses or are they consumers? Companies spend thousands of dollars every year identifying their target market, their customers. How much time have you spent, is your customer anybody who needs or wants your product or services:? What do you offer to your customers, and why do they come to you? Have you asked them? Who are your Referral Sources and what system do you have for motivating and training them?

Networking is very valuable, but learning how to develop a system is more important. Once the system is in place, and you know whom you want to connect with and whom your referral sources are you will then be able to choose the right places to network.

If you’re going to build a house you need to take some time and do your preparation, lay out the design, build the foundation, then build the building. Every step must be followed in the proper order. The same holds true when you are building your business by referral. Where is your plan, how is the foundation, or did you forget all of that and just start networking, hoping for best.

Here are 5 Tips for building a foundation before you start networking.
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BNI Lafayette Business Expo Sept. 13th

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

For more information about the BNI Lafayette Business Expo on Sept. 13th, contact Tony Sandlin: tony@bni-indiana.com

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Got Referrals? New Book Reveals How to Build a Referral Engine

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

I’m often asked, “Tony, what’s the most effective way to build a business?” I have a tough time answering this because I believe there are multiple ways not just one magical, silver bullet to
help build a solid company. If I really had to narrow and hone it down to one
key tactic for marketing success, I’d rate positive word-of-mouth as one of the
smartest ways to build a business for the long haul. It’s not the sexiest
answer, but once it starts working to your advantage, referrals and increased
inquiries for your product, service or message are the rewards for a job well
done.

The source of this book review arrives via a phone call a couple months back with a fellow business associate who raved on and on about a book called The Referral Engine. I was intrigued after our conversation, and no sooner than I ended my call with her, I was on Google and quickly found the site for the book. No fancy media kit, direct mail, email message was needed to pull my attention to the book. The power of a positive recommendation or referral started my internal search engine and I’m extremely glad after devouring this amazing book, that I was listening and took action on the referral.

When a review copy of Jantsch’s book arrived at our office I immediately noticed the impressive list of major endorsements ranging from Seth Godin, Chris Brogan to Guy Kawasaki and Tony Hsieh, CEO, of Zappos.com. To say I was intrigued is an understatement. As someone who reads 2-3 books per week, it’s no small task to really amaze me. This book met the grade and I could not put it down once I cracked it open.

Indianapolis small business entrepreneurs: don’t miss Insider’s Circle Chapter Meeting (including small business marketing contest) on 11/5. Register here.

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