These four simple steps will help you maximize your networking potential.
- Express your appreciation. If someone has taken the thought and time to refer you to a contact, consider it one of the most sincere forms of flattery. Many of us often forget to thank those who make the effort and take the time to refer. If you want to continue to receive referrals, thank these individuals promptly and genuinely. Express how much you appreciate their efforts. While a handwritten thank-you note is always appropriate, a phone call or even a quick email is much better than letting these generous actions go unacknowledged.
- Keep the referrer in the loop. After thanking the person who has given you a referral, find out if he or she wants to be kept in the loop. Because there is a vested interest, the referrer just might appreciate being copied on emails or receiving updates on how things are progressing. Give the referrer the opportunity to tell you what level of involvement he or she wants and then, most important, follow through with the request.
- Announce when you win the business. So you’ve thanked the person who gave you the referral and kept him or her in the loop through the sales process. What’s the next step? Don’t keep the referrer hanging; notify that person as soon as you win the business. It’s a perfect opportunity to once again express your appreciation.
- Reciprocate if you can. Networking is most certainly a two-way street. It’s great to receive referrals, but it can be just as rewarding to give them. And it’s not always all about making a referral to someone who needs a product or service immediately. Make connections and referrals to a wide spectrum of influencers and other great networkers, and your consideration and interest will be recognized and rewarded.
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Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.