I was at a great networking event a few weeks ago. I met many business owners and one of them asked me what I specifically helped business owners do to work less and play more. We talked about being specific with who their target market is and who good referral sources could be. I told this business owner that I help my clients by teaching them 18 tactics to motivate their referral partners and 15 ways to promote their referral partners.
This sole proprietor said, “I am motivated! I was invited to a networking event and I told everyone I knew about it and I was the only one who appeared! I am motivated! I don’t need any help in being more motivated!”
When I help business owners grow their business by word-of-mouth we go back to the fundamentals of referrals. All referrals come from relationships. All of these relationships are with people. If we would like to have more referrals – we have to start with motivating the source of all referrals – people! When I teach business owners how they can motivate referral partners we talk about personally inviting people events (as well as 17 other tactics).
Each of the tactics is delivered with the purpose of the tactic, the specific benefits, the steps to carry out the tactic effectively, and the applicability and requirements of the tactic. The next time you have the opportunity to invite a referral source (in order to motivate THEM to pass YOU referrals), keep these factors in mind.
Your goal with these tactics is to motivate your referral sources to generate positive word-of-mouth for you. The easiest way for them to do this is to be in front of people you would like to do business with and have them introduce you. They have to be there – so they have to be invited. This also makes it easy for you to promote them – if they are right there in front of people. If you stay home or if they stay home neither of you are expanding the circle of people who hear about you by word-of-mouth.
The best place to invite your source is an event that you are attending. Spending time inviting people to an event that you might not attend or cannot attend is not going to help you work less and play more. The purpose of inviting your referral source is to enhance your relationship with this person. They’ll get to see you in a different light. If it is an event where you are speaking or being recognized, then the event will add to your credibility.
Developing a calendar of events and invitations is easy! First make a list of the events and then a list of referral sources. Then call (email doesn’t work as well) and invite them with enough notice so they can plan to attend. In your call explain why you’d like them to attend and if they can attend pay for the entrance fee to the event if there is one.
As you are making your list with events and sources make sure there is a benefit or interest for your referral source. What are they trying to accomplish? What are their hobbies? Who would the like to meet? Ask yourself when was the last time you did a GAINS exchange and what you learned about the source.
If possible, ask your guests to invite their own guests.
While you may find that invitations often are turned down – continue to do so. Make sure you are matching the right events with the right people and giving them plenty of notice. When you invite them they’ll think a more highly of you for making the personal invitation, they’ll have a better understanding of you and what you are interested in, and they will be more motivated to help you grow your business by word-of-mouth.
The 18 tactics to motivate your referral sources was first written by Ivan Misner and Robert Davis in the book “Business by Referral”. These tactics are included in detail in the Certified Networker course. As a certified instructor of the material I teach these 18 tactics to my clients so they can grow their business by word-of-mouth.