When it comes to getting referrals from your network, the confidence others have in you is a vital component. None of them wants to risk their personal reputation by referring to a stranger. Until you inspire confidence that referring contacts to you won’t harm their reputation with their clients, associates, friends or family, you’re still a stranger. People won’t refer you if they feel you’re going to let them down.
Your profession matters to inspire confidence
The more significant the business being referred to is, the greater the risk to the referrer’s reputation. If you’re a florist, it may take only a week or two for people who try your services to recommend you on the basis of their experience with you. The risk associated with referring a florist is usually small unless you’re bidding on a large wedding that also might be your referrer’s top client. If you’re a financial advisor, it may take you six months or a year to reach the critical confidence level. However, since the stakes are higher, your referrer stands to gain more if the results are successful.
No matter what line of work you’re in, if you don’t perform well, your referrer will learn of it and you may not get another referral from that source.
Educate others about your business to inspire confidence
Don’t assume your fellow networkers understand your company or industry well enough to refer you confidently. You have to educate them and keep on educating them as long as you’re in business.
A networking group like BNI is ideal because everybody is expected to address the group at regular intervals. Make your presentation interesting and stimulating. Tell them how your product or service improves others. Each time you speak, present a new aspect of your business. Let your knowledge and eloquence persuade them that you’re very good at what you do. You will inspire confidence and your name will come to mind whenever a referral opportunity arises.
If you’re following these simple tactics, then you are well along the road to getting all the referrals from others’ networks that you deserve by inspiring confidence to refer you.