Building relationships should become one of the most important components of your business. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it’s not powerful. Social capital is like financial capital. To amass financial capital, you have to invest and grow your assets. You have to have money in the bank before you can make a withdrawal. Relationships are very much the same – referral relationships in particular. You must support and help others with their business before you can ask for their help.
Before you ask for a referral, make sure that you can answer “YES” to most of the following points about a person:
- You have known each other for at least six months to one year.
- You understand at least three major products or services within their business and feel comfortable explaining them to others.
- You know the names of their family members and have met them personally.
- You have been in a situation where both of you have asked each other how you can help grow your respective businesses.
- You know some of their goals for the year, including personal and business goals.
- You could pick up the phone and call them at 9 p.m. if you really needed something.
- You would not feel awkward asking them for help with either a personal or business challenge.
- You enjoy the time you spend together. You like taking time to meet for coffee or a glass of wine.
- You have regular appointments scheduled, both business and personal, to connect.
- They are “top of mind” regularly.
- You have open, honest talks about how you can help each other further.
- You enjoy seeing them achieve further success.
Connect with people who also believe in the philosophy of Givers Gain. Therefore, before you ask for a referral, make sure to make an investment and build a deep relationship first.
This blog was originally published on http://ivanmisner.com.
Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI. Called the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN and one of the “Top Networking Experts” by Forbes, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He and his wife, Elisabeth, are now “empty nesters” with three adult children. In his spare time, he is also an amateur magician and a black belt in karate.