How Can You Fish Without A Hook?

Jan 13th, 2009 | By | Category: Marketing Professional Services, Networking and Getting Practice Referrals

Hot dang. You’re at a big networking get together at the local pub, handing out your cards and introducing yourself. Getting cards from everyone you meet, and promising them faithfully that you’ll be sharing referrals and leads with them.

Yeah, that’s really going to happen. Like when pigs fly.

You’re going to go back to your office and put all those spiffy new business cards in your Rolodex, or your electronic equivalent, your contact manager, and you promise yourself that every day you’re going to follow up with at least one of the people you exchanged cards with, refer a lead to them and ask for a lead from them.

Only problem is, you’re not on the same wavelength. You try to contact them and they’re not in. You leave a message and they don’t return the call. What’s happened? They’re supposed to be your new BFF! Have you failed? Do you have bad breath?

Well, you may have halitosis, but that’s probably not what is causing the disconnect. After all, you were using the phone weren’t you? I don’t think even I am that much of a stinker.

There are two or three things happening here. But the most likely problem is that you really don’t have a relationship with this person. Exchanging business cards at a social function is not something that is going to cause you to be the first thing on his or her mind each morning and afternoon. You have really just only introduced yourselves to each other. Now you have to take the time and effort to build a relationship with that new contact.

One of the best things you can do is get involved in groups and civic organizations in your area, meet and help the folks there, and from that develop your relationships.

Another thing you can do is start your own group. The “Marketing Arsenal” used by Instant Practice Builder members has an excellent guide for starting your own “Breakfast Club,” which can be modified to fit your own needs.

The third thing I want to mention is referrals you get from your existing clients.

But …

The thing you need to be able to do is know how to ask for a referral in a way that will get you a positive response and be able to recognize when you actually got a referral. How about I give you a little script you can use. okay?

Step one, the next time you are in a conversation with one of your clients, you need to be a bit helpful and start talking about the problems your client is having.

Step two, while you are discussing their problems, simply look them in the eye and say “I wasn’t aware that was such a problem. Is it a problem for everyone?”

Step three, as soon as they answer with probably a “yes” or a “no,” look at them seriously and ask, “Oh really, who?”

There, you have your referral.

You don’t need an introduction. You merely need the name of a prospect and an idea of what their main problems are.

That ought to get you started. If you want more feedback on referrals, drop back by here. I need the business.

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  1. Kirk

    I enjoy your blog.

    It is good to remember that whenever a client is really happy with you, it’s a good time to ask for a referral.

    Ford Harding

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