Creating A Referral Machine 4 of 7

Okay, there are lots of potential people with whom to establish a relationship. What about the “HOW”? How can you make this happen?

keep the gears

Yes, there are lots of people. That is generally not the problem. That is seldom people’s shortcoming in creating a referral machine. It is the “how” that trips people up.

In establishing relationships, there are three main categories of activities you need to consider making part of your personal regimen. (1) Giving or adding values to others; (2) Ensuring that you become involved; and (3) Making sure that you are dependable or reliable in what you say and do.

First, When people hear the term “GIVING TO OTHERS”, they tend to conjure up images dragging out their wallets. That is not the case at all. There are lots of things you can do in giving or adding value to others.

o Do business with others.

o Sending them referrals.

o Providing them with information.

o Spurring them on.

o Introducing them to others.

Each of these things add value to others. The key part of all of this, however, is that when you add value to others, they cannot help but feel they know you, like you, trust you. And somehow, they are quietly compelled to return the deed at some point in time.

Second, another means of establishing relationships, is getting involved with your community.

Trust this, no matter where you live, there are business groups, charities and civic initiatives that could use your time, talent and energy. When you get involved in your community, it raises your level of exposure and it demonstrates your commitment. With these things, people cannot help but feel they know you, like you and trust you, which is exactly what you need to start establishing relationships and create a referral machine.

Finally, while adding value and getting involved are great for establishing relationships. You, however, will undermine the entire process, if you are not reliable. With even an innocent infraction of unreliability, you can kill your chances getting referrals. Be reliable … be on time … do what you say… follow-up, as you promise. And if for some reason you are unable to do these things, alert the person who might be relying as soon as possible.

This may all seem like common sense. It is. It is, however not common practice. It has tripped up even those with the best of intentions. Guard against this.

Nevertheless, once you have these relationships established, you can start to put your referral machine to work. That is the subject to part 5.

Network Pyramid Capstones

There are many of these experiments and studies that offer wonderful insight as to how you can both become better at networking as well as have a better network. Here is one in particular.

In the 1960’s, Harvard social psychologist, Stanley Milgram studied what he termed the “small world” problem. He wanted to gain a better understanding of how people were connected to one another.

In one experiment, he sent to 160 randomly selected individuals in Omaha, Nebraska a packet with the name and address of a stockbroker who worked in Boston (and lived in Sharon, Massachusetts). Milgram instructed each individual to write their name on the roster in the packet and then mail the packet to a friend or acquaintance who they thought would get it closer to the stockbroker, and so on until it reached the Boston broker.

S

On average the packets reached the broker in six steps (thus the phrase “six degrees of separation”). While Milgram initially reasoned that if the packets started from 160 random points, the packets would arrive at its destination with similar randomness. Many of the chain packets, however, followed the same asymmetrical pattern to the Boston stockbroker. In all, half of the responses that got to the stockbroker were delivered by three people. Hence, the phrase “six degrees of separation” doesn’t mean that everyone is linked to everyone else in just six steps. It does mean that a very small number of people are linked to everyone else in a few steps, and the rest of us are linked to the world through those few.

There is an easy way to explore this idea. Write down the names of 40 friends and trace them backwards to how they were introduced to you. This exercise will reveal that what people term as their “social circles” are really inverted pyramids. In other words, a large percentage of your contacts likely originated from a relatively few number of individuals. Those at the tops of these pyramids are your Network Pyramid Capstones.

Here is the consideration for you. If you are working to “jump start” your network or determine where your time is best spent, first, find your Network Pyramid Capstones. Then take one or all of your Network Pyramid Capstones to lunch, breakfast, for coffee or beer or whatever.

That is really make an effort to develop a great relationship with these people – find ways to help them and be sure they understand how they can help you. These individuals have been instrumental in building your network to this point. It is likely they will do more of the same in the future.

30 Second Commerical 5 of 8

Everyone has competition, including you. What makes you unique amongst your competition?

Silver modern Stopwatch

Again, WHY you? Your 30-second commercial needs to convey credibility and confidence that serves to answer that question before it is asked. Consider an example.

“Not only have I helped more than 100 people get into the right franchise, I also spent 10 years as a CPA … helping my clients know what they were getting.”

Who would a prospective franchisee prefer to work with? Just anyone or someone with this background? The answer should be obvious (at least the question was intended to be rhetorical). The point is that Inspiring Confidence (answering the “WHY you?,”) is vital to your 30-second commercial.

Tips For Improving Small Talk

“Small Talk” is an art. Like any art, you can, improve how you do it through practice. Here are some ideas for becoming more proficient at small talk.

• THINK … On the way to the next event or when you have some idle time, work through in your mind how you envision your “small talk” going. Review the questions you will ask in your mind. See yourself listening, summarizing, and sharing.

• LISTEN … “Small talk” is all around you, everyday. Listen to it, especially those who are good at it. See how they weave from one question to the next and how they transition to business, return to small talk and then exit the conversation.

• ENGAGE … Take every opportunity to engage in “small talk” When you are in line at the store check out. With a server in a restaurant. With the receptionist at your next appointment. You will find the more you engage in small talk, the more comfortable you get at it.

The most important thing you need to do in being good at “small talk” is develop an attitude or belief.

Periodically, you need to tell yourself, I can carry a conversation. I can. I am good at it. I enjoy it. I like how it lifts the spirits of others. And I love what it is doing for my networking. I can carry a conversation.”

M (Hand Shake)

Small Talk To Big Business

Now remember, “small talk” is the warm-up and thus it should lead to a work out. The workout is talking business. To make this happen, eventually you need to transition from small talk to real business.

When this moment comes, you will know. Some time into your exchange, there will be a lull. Use this moment to get at a more meaty discussion on business (whatever that might be).

Be forewarned, however, this is not to suggest that you start to pitch them or set them up for a close. It merely suggests that once you have them comfortably engaged in conversation, you should ease into a more professional discussion of their business or your business.

G (Results)

For example, this might be a good segue … “Well, water skiing is likely not cheap … So what do you do professionally to pay for it?”

Do not try to steer them. For example a business coach, should not ask … “Do you use business coaches in your business?” … A financial advisor, should not go with … “How is your 401K doing these days?” … A promotional products person, should not jump to … “How do you use ad specialty items in your business?”

Do NOT push it. Keep the tone light and the sales probing to a minimum. If you do this right, you will have lots of opportunity to gather future business intelligence, pitch them, and close them. Remember, people do business with those they Know, Like & Trust.

Return To Small Talk

After the professional conversation has run its course, before the conversation ends, touch back on something related to your “small talk” conversation.

For example “Great talking with you. Assuming, you don’t get laid up in the hospital skiing between now and then, I would enjoy continuing our conversation over a cup of coffee sometime.”

Why is this important? By returning to “small talk”, you have demonstrated that you were listening and that you remembered. More subtly, however, you are reflecting back to a part of the conversation when they likely delighted in your interest in them.

The AmSpirit Business Connections Opportunity

Are you looking for more success in your professional life? Of course. Who isn’t? Know this, it will likely come via professional networking. So the real question is, “Are you looking for more effective professional networking?” Consider this an option. Click to hear what Frank Agin Founder of AmSpirit Business Connections has to say: The AmSpirit Business Connection Opportunity

Calling All AmSpirit Potential Franchisees

Could you be the perfect fit for an AmSpirit franchisee? LISTEN to Frank Agin’s description of an ideal franchisee and what kind of training, start up and support this franchise opportunity offers them. This could be for you!

AmSpirit (Lo Res color- PNG 69KB)

AmSpirit Business Connections is a Unique Franchise Opportunity!

AmSpirit Business Connections is a unique franchise opportunity! Founder, Frank Agin explains what makes it such a unique potential business venture, even if you already have one. Hear what sets AmSpirit apart, LISTEN.

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Is An AmSpirit Business Connections Franchise For You?

Is an AmSpirit Business Connections franchise for you?
Learn more about this franchise opportunity and what it can do for you!  To listen to founder Frank Agin describe the program, its benefits and the potential ROI, LISTEN here.

Frank Agin Photo

Business Cards, Coffee & Tire Tread: Professional Services Franchise Overhead

Every business has overhead. Also referred to as indirect expenses, overhead are/is expenditures a business must make to function, but this outlay does not contribute directly to the generation of profits.

For example, most businesses need to buy (or lease) office furniture for employees to be able to function. Without the furniture, the employee could not effectively work. The office furniture itself, however, does not produce profit.

Some other examples of business overhead could include …

  • ·         Utilities: Gas, water and electricity keeps things running, but may not add direct value to the product or service.
  • ·         Taxes: These governmental expenditures add nothing to the cost of goods sold, but they do serve to support the underlying infrastructure as well as provide protection from fire and theft.
  • ·         Professional Service: Legal and accounting services are necessary, but they do not doanything to ramp up product (or service) value.
  • ·         Insurance: This provides for protection against certain catastrophic events (fire, flood, theft, etc.), but nothing to directly improve sales.

Like any other business, professional services franchises likely incur many of these overhead items.  There are three, however, that you might not consider … three that are vital to business success. Business cards. Coffee. And Tire Tread.

Success within the professional services industry (whether or not the business is franchised) hinges on relationships. As all things being equal people do business with those they know, like and trust. To build this involves networking – getting up out of your office and connecting with people.

So, if you are contemplating a professional services franchise (or better still, you own one), you need to factor in [to things] those three things. To be successful, you will have to …

  • ·         Pass out a plethora of business cards;

 

  • ·         Down more than a recommended amount of coffee; and

 

  • ·         Log countless miles on your car.