The bad apple. When it comes to referral some of us are our own worst enemies, don’t you think?
I’m writing in business context here, my young friend Ben had told me about a referral that sounded promising. Naturally Ben was upbeat about the connection and as is good practice, he followed up right away.
It turns out, this referral wasn’t picking up the telephone, made excuses via email and over the course of a couple of days the opportunity petered-out.
Seen it before folks? Here was another example of fast-track to oblivion in terms of referral marketing. Who was going to refer such a person after speaking with Ben? It’s true, bad news does indeed travel fast via word of mouth.
I did my best to reassure Ben that not all of his networking efforts are deemed to go the same way although I could see he was disappointed.
Trust is so important, Ben knows this, he had already made some great contacts so he could move on.
It’s six months now since I began working with Ben and his family as they establish the ‘new generation’ and over that time we’ve managed to avoid the unreliable ‘apple,’ determined the USP, covered ‘The Plan’ and worked on our ‘top ten’ attributes developing the dependable referral network … how do they compare with your own?
Attitude … Do you have one? Ensure that it’s the positive kind.
Enthusiasm. Just like attitude, it’s contagious and brings out the best during networking.
Good Listener. Be sincere, how do you know what others want unless you listen?
Sharing. Share the knowledge, the good news and more, develop the relationship.
Trustworthy. Build trust by trusting others, sit down and listen to those new contacts.
Showing Gratitude. If someone helps out – that’s a great reason to say ‘thank you.’
Enjoy Helping Others. Some don’t ask it, so make sure you do: “How can I help you?”
Work Their Network …be on hand to support your colleagues.
Recommend others. Then ask them to recommend you.
Follow Up On The Referral. Nothing poisons the relationship faster than not following up on your promises. (Just ask Ben.)
“Hey Charlie, that guy doesn’t bother me. He’s his own worst enemy and as far as I’m concerned, I cannot afford to be associated with him.”
That’s understood Ben just like your colleagues in your referral network.