All things being equal people want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. But, if you wait for people who know you, like you and trust you, to refer business to you, you might starve to death.
Let’s take a look at who knows you? Does your visibility go beyond your family and friends? Do you and your business have visibility in the market place? Visibility is vital and there are many ways that your business can become known. For our purpose lets take a look at networking.
Networking is an excellent way to create visibility. Attending events, hosting events and meeting people will allow others to get to know you and your business. Business people spend an immense amount of time going from one networking event to another, meeting people, handing out cards, meeting for lunches or coffee, and getting to know people. After enough time and with enough events you can create a lot of visibility, you most likely will create little business, but lots of visibility
Who likes you? Do you want to do business with people you don’t like? Of course not, we all want to connect to people we like. On the other hand, people will not necessarily refer business to you just because they do like you. They have to remember you, remember what you do, and be able to connect others to you.
Take a moment and think about all of your friends,and family. If liking you could get people to help you grow your business, you would have to do very little networking.. After all, they know more about you than anyone else in most cases. So, why aren’t you getting regular referrals from them? There is a difference between a personal relationship and a business relationship.
Think about someone you know that you like, really like them, when was the last time you gave them a referral? What stops you, what stops them?
Who trust you? Trust is a big word, it is credibility with people. Unfortunately, this is the place where most relationships are destroyed. It’s the little things that build up, turning into big things that destroy trust. The number one question that I am most often asked is, “How long does trust take to build?” It takes as long as it take! Some people trust very quickly and others are very slow to trust. There are steps you can take to build trust quicker, to move the relationship forward. For one, find out what their goals are and how you can help them, do what you say you are going to do and be consistent.
Once you build trust with a person your next step, the one that most people forget is to teach others how to refer you. People will do business with people they know like and trust, they do not necessarily refer business to those whom they know, like and trust, that takes extra work.