There are many definitions. For example, we have heard it declared as networking for your referrals, asking your clients for referrals, and even a simple version of it is building your business by referral. Well, at Asentiv, we would tend to differ. In fact, in the book “The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, building your business by referral”, Dr. Ivan Misner and Mike Macedonio have a very clear definition of referral marketing.
Referral Marketing is a business strategy to attract new clients through a process of building relationships which result in a flow of personally recommended business. … Wow, that is quite different.
Let’s break down the definition closely and see how well you do.
A business strategy – do you consider it part of your business strategies or do you simply wait around for referrals?
Are you confident in the type of clients you want to attract? Who else in your network has that information?
This is a big one for me…while networking, do you pass out as many cards as you can, do you schmooze and booze, or do you really focus on building a relationship by helping someone?
Are referrals typically a surprise for you? Are you wishing they would flow to you more often?
How many people are personally recommending you on a regular basis? Who are they and how often do they do it?
These are only a few of the questions you can be asking yourself our definition!
Too often we misunderstand the concept of networking. We see it as an opportunity to chase a new client. I’m here to tell you this is not networking…it is in fact selling. Networking is helping others so they can help you. Next time you go to a networking event look to see how your network can help someone else. Do this selflessly. Humans are 70% reciprocal and this is how networking works…
What you do for them, they will do for you.