There are only a few basic ways to inspire people to care about your business and help you build it. Basically, it comes down to relationships and rewards.
Some people, typically family or friends, will want to help simply because they like you and want you to do well. They are motivated by the relationship itself.
In most other cases, the long-term motivation for people to want to help you and your business is not based solely on whether they like you. Business partnerships, including referral relationships, almost always include some type of mutual reward, typically in the form of financial or social gain. Both you and your networking partner have something to gain, and you are both willing to help each other achieve it.
Some people are motivated by the potential for business referrals you can give to them, while others are motivated by the prestige and opportunities created by having a relationship with you. Regardless of the underlying motivation behind them, business networking relationships can take some time to reach profitability in a substantial way. However, they are certainly worth cultivating. Ultimately, strong relationships will steer opportunities back to you because of the nature of networking itself.
Referrals are Not Reciprocal
I remind networkers that there isn’t a rule that says, “For every referral you give, you can expect one in return.” When you give more referrals, it does not mean that others will automatically do the same. It just doesn’t work that way in referral marketing.
A referral is not always reciprocal.
Effective business networking is about strong and deep relationships with your referral partners. Professionals who focus on giving first and asking, “What can I do to help you?” rather than having an attitude of “What’s in it for me?” usually find more success in their networking efforts.
I believe that most relationships will prove rewarding in the long term, even in cases where you don’t receive referrals in return. There are a few extremely successful people to whom we send referrals and who never reciprocate with a referral back to us. We’re motivated to continue helping them because they will work with the people we refer to them. That makes us look good, as it is often difficult for the average person to start a working relationship with these very successful, very busy professionals.
Additionally, if we refer someone, it opens a door that might never have otherwise opened. The new person that we are referring to our very busy friends or associates is the one who now goes out of their way to reciprocate. That becomes our motivation for helping our networking partners achieve their goals. And, in true Givers Gain® fashion, it usually winds up coming back to us in some way or another.
The Philosophy of Givers Gain
Givers Gain is not only a great way to get business, it’s an even better way to do business. These are some of the motivations that fit with the philosophy of giving.
- We give because we understand that in a community, what we do, others will do, and we all benefit.
- We give because we know that in the same situation others would do the same for us.
- We give because we want to give back where we have profited before.
- We give because when we work together, we get bigger and better results than working on our own.
- We give because we enjoy it.
A key element of giving is having ethical motivation. You can always give once and justify your motivation, however, giving over and over again requires a motivation that is understood by you, and by the people you surround yourself with.
Remember, in business networking, successful referral relationships are mutually beneficial with both parties being motivated by some type of reward that helps them, and their business, grow.
Can you think of some way that you have benefitted because of caring about others’ businesses and helping them achieve their goals?
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