I just finished reading the book “Referral of a lifetime” by Tim Templeton and Ken Blanchard. It’s a quick and easy read to help you systematize your networking efforts. I love systems, they set you free, so I’m a fan of this book. The concept is basic, cold calls don’t work well and are painful, referrals are much more effective at helping you achieve success. The good news is you don’t have to smooze at tons of awkward networking events to make this happen. To generate referrals you need to keep in touch consistently, personally and systematically with the people you already know (which is most likely 200 or more according to statistics).
- Step 1
Send out an email to all the people in your database letting them know that you are committed to keeping in better touch and if there is anything you can do for them “just let me know”
- Step 2
Plan your calendar in advance for keeping in touch throughout the year. If you don’t have someone at your company who can manage the fulfillment of this system you can outsource this to a mail-house. Example:
January - New Years Greeting Card
February - Item of Value letter
March - Personalized Newsletter
April - Springtime Greeting Card
May - Item of Value Letter
June - Personalized Newsletter
July - Fourth of July Card
August - Item of Value Letter
September - Personalized Newsletter
October - Item of Value Letter
November - Thanksgiving Card
December - Personalized Newsletter
- Step 3
Research the Internet for creative thank you gifts that can be sent out when appropriate to contacts that have done something nice for you. Tier it out from $10 to $200 depending on the contact and what they did for you.
- Step 4
In your correspondence (like emails, newsletters, phone calls) always ask for a referral. It won’t rub the person the wrong way if you’ve kept in consistent contact and have/will do the same for them.
This system will work but it is reliant on the fact that you really do care about the people in your network and you mean it when you say “If you need anything, just let me know”