Okay, there are lots of potential people with whom to establish a relationship. What about the “HOW”? How can you make this happen?
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 value 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 of 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.
- Doing business with others.
- Sending them referrals.
- Providing them with information.
- Spurring them on.
- Introducing them to others.
Each of these things adds 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, and 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 to create a referral machine.
Finally, 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 of 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 on you as soon as possible.
This may all seem like common sense. It is. However, it is 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 of Part 5.