Why finding referrals is like a game of tennis. (Almost.)

Some of us find it easy to generate meaningful referrals. Others? Well, they find this not quite so easy.

Take your game of tennis. It’s booked well in advance, you know your opponent and so in the interests of a good competitive match you study the form, watch his/her game and assess your chances come match day.

What happens though, when your scheduled opponent is replaced with someone completely different? When that someone has a game plan equal (if not better) than your own … you really need to work that little bit harder don’t you think?

So where am I going?

Some of us make it easy to generate the referrals, the wins. With just a little planning.

I attend a referral group on a regular basis, I hear the presentations and truly believe that if I were given their presentation, I could offer a pretty decent representation of their needs and wants as they declare themselves. I’ve spent time in their company, know their market, their specialisation and dare I say … the USP.

I’ve studied the form.

I consider myself a proactive referral giver, I know what to look out for when I’m not at the meeting, I’m giving myself every chance of uncovering some valuable business for colleagues, because I fully understand what they’re looking for.

Others are not so industrious. They’re more reactive. Visiting the Forum for the opportunity our occasional visitor may hear what sounds like a referral request, maybe even gets it right by listening out for those immediate needs from those in the room. ‘Not a bad thing.’ Some might say. ‘The same result.’ Others might add?

‘Almost a good thing’ is what I’m saying. Could our friends refer you once they’ve left the meeting?

Offering reactive support to those who ask for it is great for the meeting of course, although isn’t it missing the benefit of what regular contact brings?

Don’t the best referrals come from those who spend time with you, people who are proactive, informed and know you well? Informed enough to trust you, proactive enough to refer you outside the network, providing you with more wins on your board?

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