The number one key to getting high value referrals from your referral sources is trust. It is the first step in the referral process. If there is no trust, there will be only low value referrals or leads being passed to you. Trust is the biggest, hardest step to accomplish in the referral process. Trust is built on regular communication; this is the value of BNI meetings being weekly.

The hardest part of trust is figuring out how other people trust and what breaks trust with them. Part of the world is made up of the “I don’t trust until…” people.  The question is until what?

What are the things that build trust with this group of people? How do you recognize them?

What breaks trust for them?  These are all key questions that need to be answered when you are building referral relationships.

I constantly hear people say they do not understand why this person or that person will not refer business to them. When I hear this complaint I understand that it is a trust problem that has not been addressed. Trust takes time. You have not way of predicting the time it takes, especially if you do not know if they are a trust fast or trust slow person. Further you have no way of knowing if you have already done something that has caused a person to not trust you.

If you want to know you have to ask. Here is a simple question you can ask a person if you want to get referrals from them and you are not getting them even though you have invested in the relationship: “What would I need to do to earn your trust enough that you would be willing to refer business to me?”  Then you have to be prepared for the answer. You might not like what you find out but it will be an important lesson for you to learn.

I attended a BNI meeting one morning a few years back, and there was a member who stood up and asked the rest of the members “How many of you have attorneys that you work with or know attorneys?”  Everyone raised their hand. “These are the people that I want to meet, if you could set up an introduction for me that would be excellent.”  During the referral portion of the meeting she did not get one referral. So she came to me and ask me if I could help her understand why she was not getting the referrals.  I told her that I would be happy to help if she were open to honest feedback.

A few days later we met at a bookstore and I shared the following with her, “Jenny when you come to a BNI meeting you look like you just rolled out of bed. Your hair is wet, your clothes are wrinkled and you look a mess. Further it seems you are completely unprepared.  Based on that, no one in the room is willing to risk their reputation on you.”

She was shocked, she said that she would never go to the meeting with an attorney looking like that, she would be dressed professionally and be totally prepared.

Jenny had broken the trust of almost all of the people in that room. To give her a referral we had to trust that she would make us look good, her way of showing up in the room did not instill trust, instead it was systematically destroying it. No one was going to risk it, including me. I suggested that she change her way of being in the room, show up professionally, be prepared and participate.  Go do one-to-one meetings with your fellow members and ask them, “What do I need to do to earn your trust and get referrals from you?”  Then be prepared for the feedback and go do the work.

Her referrals exploded over time, people began to trust and refer her, even the “I don’t trust you until…” people because she found out, what built trust and destroyed trust for each one of them.

Getting high value referrals is not as easy as 4 tips and tricks, it takes time and hard work but the more you invest the bigger the reward.

Keep It Simple

 Hazel

There are few women better at building a global network than Hazel Walker . Renowned for her straight talk and no-holds-barred approach, Hazel is a globally sought after spea