When it comes to business networking and passing along referrals, it’s not about who’s giving what to whom. There is no rule that says, “For every referral you give, you can expect one in return.” Similarly, when you hand out more referrals, it does not mean that other business professionals will automatically do the same. It just doesn’t work that way in referral marketing.
If you hear of a business opportunity that would be well suited for a referral partner – not a competitor – think of it as “excess business.” When you pass this kind of excess business to others in the form of a referral, you’ll wind up attracting more prospects who want to work with you.
There are plenty of fish in the water. Most fishermen don’t see themselves in competition with the other person whose fishing boat is a hundred yards away. They know there is a plentitude of fish, enough for everyone. In fact, if they pass each other on the way back to the shore, they’ll probably wave to each other and ask if they did well and how many fish they caught.
Do Good Things for Others
The principle of “sowing and reaping” states that when you do good things for other people, those good things have a way of coming back to you – often from a different person or group of people. Even if it seems that you’re not directly benefiting from the referrals you are giving to others, take note of all the other business that “just happens” to come your way:
- The person who checks out your website because a friend shared your blog post on social media and gives you a call.
- The old prospect you haven’t heard from in months who suddenly wants to get together for lunch.
- The inactive client who contacts you to say they want to renew their contract with you.
Even though it seems like happenstance, some or all of that is likely to be new business you attracted by giving away other business, in the form of referrals, to people you know. You can attract new business through the relationship-building process you commit to and can strive to become a networking catalyst to ensure that these things happen on a regular basis.
I recommend that you don’t keep score. Instead, think of giving referrals in the context of the “abundance mind-set,” which is the awareness that there’s more than enough business to go around.
What is your experience with receiving more after giving more?