Members often complain about the poor quality of the referrals that they are receiving from their chapter, complaining that they are often not worth the paper they are written on or complete junk.
When I ask them why they are not getting the referrals they want, they take the time to tell me how the chapter does not get what they do, or chapter members just don’t know the right people to refer them to.
The next thing I ask them is, “What are you asking for when you are in the meeting each week?” What they tell me next is completely predictable they are looking for “anybody who needs or wants” or they are looking for “small businesses who need x.”
What they do not understand is that they are getting exactly what they are asking for from their fellow members. When asking for anybody, everybody and small businesses all that you are really asking for are leads and that is what you are getting. It does little good to complain that chapter members don’t get it or are not trying hard enough when you have not given them the tools they need to find you the referrals that you want.
I can rip a page out of a phone book and give you a complete list of “anybody” or several pages from the business phone book and give you a complete list of “small businesses.”
Here are a few things for you to consider if you are not getting what you want in the way of referrals:
- Do your homework – describe who anybody is, where do they live, what they have in common and how will I recognize them. Using the terminology “small business” is the same as saying “anybody.”
- Teach your network – teach the members of your network how you want to be referred. Is it a name and number on a piece of paper? Email introductions? Or face-to-face introductions? How you want to be referred is up to you, but your network can only do as much as you teach them.
- You get what you give – if you want to get good referrals then you must be willing to give good referrals. Every time you give a referral you are teaching that person how you would like to be referred to. You become the role model for quality.
- Say thank you – No, I do not mean the thank you for closed business that gets passed in the chapter—those are strictly for accounting purposes—I am talking about thanking a person who helps you. If you have done the GAINS Profile you know what they are interested in, find something they would enjoy or that would mean something to them. Maybe it is just a nice note card that you drop in the mail. Just remember to say “Thank You.”
- Take a look at your actions – are you building trust with your members? How many referrals have you given? How many one-to-ones have you had? Have you completed a GAINS Profiles on other members? Have you helped them achieve what they are looking for? If you do not do one-to-ones, you will fail.
Take responsibility, it’s all your fault and when you know that you can change what is not working.
Keep It Simple,
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 speaker.