To get referrals you have to give referrals. If you desire that people in your network would tell others about the good work you do, then you have to be one who leads by example.
Giving referrals and promoting others is paramount to your own successful sales efforts. If you only care about your own business development efforts, then how can you expect others to care about anything besides themselves?
When people tell me they never receive referrals, my first question is, "when was the last time you sent a referral to someone that lead to real business?". If there is a long pause I know they are not focused on helping others find success. There is a long-term connection between those who promote others and those who receive an abundance of inbound opportunities.
Create a habit to review your contact list and discover whom you know that should meet. Do not make introductions without a purpose, but when there is a clear reason that people should be connected, take action to facilitate the connection.
At the end of each week ask yourself if you have referred business or otherwise promoted someone in your extended network. If the answer is "nobody", then put your excuses aside ("I have been busy working on my clients matters") and seek a way to help another person get closer to their own goals before you go home on Friday. It only takes a few minutes, and few things can build a business relationship more than a referral.
Of course, you cannot refer or promote others if you do not understand what they do for a living or the type of clients they serve. Outside of other attorneys, do you really understand how your friends, family members and clients earn their living? Do not just ask people what they do, but inquire about the profile of their ideal client. While you may not always have the right types of connections to make direct introductions, when you comprehend the details of their career you will be able to recognize opportunities when they cross your path.
To get referrals you need to give referrals. Take pride in being the catalyst that brings success to others without expectations of reciprocation. While the person you assist may not return the favor, the real givers in the world are always watching. There are too many who are self-focused and givers are tired of takers. They recognize those who give and look for ways to help them in the future.
Have A Great Day
Thom Singer is experienced in legal marketing and business development. He regularly speaks at law firm retreats inspiring attorneys to embrace their brand and increase their sales. He also teaches lawyers ways to improve their presentation skills as the firm's secret weapon for business development success. More information at www.ThomSinger.com.