Turning Contacts Into Referral Opportunities

You’ve gone to all the right industry events, met the key decision makers and developed a great list of contacts and prospects. Trouble is, they just aren’t ready to make a decision or buy from you right now. If your sales are dependent upon these marketing efforts, how do you turn your networking contacts into referral opportunities? One option is to schedule a call with them once a month and hope that on one of the calls they will be ready to talk business. OK, really…….Are you wondering if there is a better way?

There is definitely a better way and it involves being on your contact’s radar when they are ready to make a buying decision. Staying on the radar is challenging for some, and easy for others. When you make that monthly call, turn the conversation from trying to see if they are ready to buy into becoming a resource and offering solutions to their business challenges. Focus on finding out how you can help rather than what you can sell. When you position yourself as a resource, you will be seen in a much different light and the sale will come sooner than you imagined. Consider these ideas:

    •  Is business down for your prospects? Are they looking for ways to generate additional revenue? If so, try to connect them with some of your current clients. Consider inviting them to attend other networking events with you as this will provide you an opportunity to further develop your relationship as well.  
    • Are they having office challenges such as computer issues? Introduce them to your computer guru.  
    • Do they seem stressed? Invite them to a social function. Social functions are always a good way to invite other professionals who would also be good connections. For example, if your prospect is an attorney, invite a banker and an accountant to the social function. These professions have great synergy and introducing them will put you in a favorable position.  

It is important to enhance your value to your contacts and prospects by positioning yourself as a resource. Through the ‘Law of Reciprocity’ when you are able to help others, you will find that others will help you and oftentimes in the form of business referrals.