Wednesday, August 18, 2010

That's ok, I don't want your referral.

The person who needs to read this is the one who wonders why they don't receive referrals from clients and/or other business professionals. The other type of person who reads this, like myself and my partner, will probably laugh in agreement.

How many times have you found someone at a networking event you thought about referring too? It is a great experience. They are a person who will fit in your circle of contacts, help each other with referrals, a nice compliment to the services and/ or products you have. Whatever the reason, you hit it off (or so you thought) and poof they don't FOLLOW UP!

You know that there lies interest. It is obvious from the other party. You make that phone call which is basic in nature. "Hello, how are you? I would like to know about you and your business? Give me a call."

You don't hear back, so the next day you send an email and wait...still no response. You think- are they on vacation? Are they hurt? Now, this is not just a one way street you truly want to know about them and their business, so you can refer your clients to them. There isn't an automated e-mail response saying they are out of town, nor a message on their voicemail. So, do they want the business or not? You even think to yourself- do they even know how to network and follow up?

I ask myself, does this person really want my referral? How can I be an effective referral generator to someone who does not return my call or email in a timely manner. If this is how you treat me, then how will you treat my client?

One needs to think about how they may be perceived if not returning communications in a timely manner. Communication is very important.

We are living in a society where people want instant gratification. If you don't call them back in an hour (maybe for some people it is even less) they WILL call someone else. Just Google a business and thousands come up. Everyone is not only in competition with the store down the street, but the ones all over the country.

My best advice is to offer you this. Reflect on how quickly you return a call, answer an email and evaluate the way you communicate to your customers and networking friends. If you are not available at this time then let them know you will contact them as soon as you return.

Ask yourself this- do you ignore a phone call on your cell because you don't know the number? Instead TELL yourself this, "If I DO answer this call, then I may gain a new customer. Because if I don't they more than likely will call my competition." I am not saying to be up at all hours of the night and being interrupted during family dinners. I am just saying to communicate more effectively and you may have more business than you know what to do with.


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