With the upcoming new year upon us, you may be asking yourself questions like, “What will my business revenues look like next year?” or “Where will the business come from in the new year?” To answer that question it is also good to figure out just how many new sales calls, leads or referrals you need to generate to develop your business.
Enter the big question everyone asks around networking. Just how many referrals could you get in one year? There are certainly a lot of number floating around out there, but according to a survey I have done with a number of the networking experts (see the article below) I have queried, the numbers that I am hearing and that I have witnessed are between 30-50 referrals.
But there is a catch! There is always a catch, of course. The catch, here, is that you need to set up some form of structured networking group to yield a return like 30-50 referrals. I would also add, coming from my Networlding world, that you need to first focus on the quality of the referral source amd second, on the quality of the referrals from your sources.
First, when choosing the quality of your referral source, consider the following:
- people have networks that reach wide a deep. If the people you are networking with are new to networking and don’t have a vibrant network, they are very unlikely to be able to provide many referrals.
- people who are ready, willing and able to make connections for you (and you are ready, willing and able to make connections for them). So, for example, if the people you network with are so busy on current projects or have personal issues that take up their time, they are not in a position to be good referral sources.
- people who are in some field that is complimentary to yours. In other words these people will be coming in contact with possible prospects they can refer.
In upcoming segments I will share more about how to ask for referrals and how to provide enough detail so that you turn your referral sources into a supplemental sales force. Of course you need to be prepared to do the same for them. But, when you have the right group of networking partners and have vibrant exchanges where you prepare your sources as to just what you are looking for you will find yourself creating a much richer and more successful pipeline. It’s all about the process.
– Melissa Giovagnoli, Networking Coach, Speaker, Trainer and Thoughtleader on the Science of Networking and Networks
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