If you want someone to learn about the value of your products or services, you have to spend time learning about the value of theirs. The best way to do this is a personal meeting. Master networkers meet regularly and invest time to raise each other’s understanding of their businesses.
“John, I’d like to be able to refer more business to you, but I need a deeper understanding of what your company does and how you operate. Could we get together next week to discuss this?”
Although you don’t say so, John understands that he’ll learn something more about your business at the same time. It’s not always easy to know how confident your contacts are in referring you. By having a personal meeting, you show interest in helping them to grow their business. Therefore, they will also be interested in helping to grow your business.
Ask yourself if you invest time to learn about others
- Am I being realistic about the time it will take, in my profession, to gain the critical level of confidence?
- Am I regularly making stimulating, educational presentations to my fellow networkers about the value I provide to my clients?
- Am I doing business with others in my BNI chapter so I can give them dynamic testimonials and steer business to them in hopes they’ll return the favor?
- Am I meeting regularly with my networking colleagues to learn about their businesses so I can confidently refer my contacts to them?
If you can endorse the quality of products or services offered by a networking partner — that is, increase others’ confidence in them — your partner will be disposed to return the favor. Testimonials from one or two of your partners may, in turn, trigger a much larger and more valuable referral from another partner who was waiting for more evidence before taking a risk on you.
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 when you invest time to learn about others.