This is the first installment of a three part series outlining an effective way to generate referrals from your network of contacts and clients.
In brief, the best way to get referrals is to give referrals first. Secondly, you must earn a referral. Lastly, you should plant the seed of referrals early on in the relationship.
Proactive referrals are those that a client gives you because she feels you are well qualified to solve the particular issues a peer of theirs has. To give referrals, go through your contacts and think about the people that may be able to help them knowing what you know about their business. Look for ways to connect people in your network of contacts.
This takes time and a generous dose of tact. It also absolutely requires you to eliminate any hint of an expecation of reciprocity. You must adopt a genuine interest in selflessly helping others. If you don't, it will be sniffed out. You'll lose the impact of thoughtful generosity.
But, the more that you reach out to help others, the more you will be seen as a resource for solving problems. It is the business development karmic equivalent of doing to others as you would have them do unto you. What you give will come back to you in referral energy.
It goes without saying, if you would like some help generating proactive referrals, give me a call at 502-693-4731. You'll find I am an eager resource and that it costs nothing to talk.