In his book Truth or Delusion, Dr. Ivan Misner and his coauthors bring up common misconceptions regarding networking and referral marketing. One common myth is that “You can’t predict referrals.”
This seems to be a rational train of thought. I mean for years the term networking has been associated with the idea of schmoozing, attending events and “being connected” somehow. My point is networking has always been a “soft art”, and while necessary, not an activity you can measure or count on. How can you possibly predict when other people are going to give you a referral? However you can predict your income via referral IF you have a system. When you have a real customized functioning referral marketing “System” in place you will be able to know how many referrals you can expect over a specified time period, the quality of those referrals, what percentage of those referrals you will close, AND the average size of each sale.
What do I mean when I say “system”? Am I talking about taking a few classes and learning how to make appropriate eye contact? How to make “instant rapport”? How to get people to like you in 30 seconds or less? Absolutely not! All of these ideas may be important at some point, but they are tactics that you can use here and there…I’m talking about a system you can use to 1) Set expectations and goal set 2) Forecast sales and revenue 3)Measure Results and 4)Monitor Relationships. A Referral Marketing System allows your Networking and Referral Marketing efforts to become an Actual Hard Edged Economic Driver.
What components need to be in place for your system to be effective? 1 Get the right Referral Marketing Information 2) Accountability and Immersion 3) Get YOUR Network trained by the Experts 4) Have a Relationship model in place and understand where your relationships are in the model 5) Keep the pipeline filled , and always be Measuring, Monitoring, and Rewarding 6) Build community
A system allows you to move this murky idea of networking from the “soft arts” to the “hard sciences”. When we reduce Referral Marketing to a simple system…getting great results becomes easy, automatic and best of all for entrepreneurs…Predictable!
About Our Guest: Bertrand McHenry spent 22 years developing his skills in outside sales. Starting out in the cell phone business, then to Pitney Bowes, Dictaphone Division, and finally in Medical Diagnostic Equipment Sales. His expertise became finding, training, and developing dynamic and record setting sales teams. A number of years ago he was introduced to the concept of “Referral Marketing” as a strategy for growing his business. It worked and he was hooked! At a conference Bertrand was presented with the Referral Institute opportunity and “I was intrigued so I began researching the company and its curriculum. It is actually the only company teaching Referral Marketing as a strategy to business owners and entrepreneurs around the world…so it didn’t take me long.” These days Bertrand is doing what he loves and what he does best…teach and train! “There is a lot of misunderstanding around the words “networking” and “referral marketing”. People make a lot of assumptions about those two words, and most of those assumptions are wrong! I can tell you without a doubt that Referral Marketing is the most powerful form of marketing there is. If we structure a referral marketing strategy and follow through week after week and just use the V.C.P relationship model…we can actually predict our income 6, 9, even 12 months out!” Most recently he has been quoted on yahoofinance.com, maimiherald.com, morningstar.com and USA Today featured him in an article on today’s economy calling him a “Trendsetter in the New Economy!” He is also a contributing author on Brian Tracy’s newest book titled “The Only Business Book You’ll Ever Need to Buy” due out in February 2012 Bertrand also hosted a radio show “Business Builders Radio” on CBS radio, Talk 650 AM. The radio show was dedicated to teaching the concepts of referral marketing and helping as many business owners as possible. Bertrand is fond of saying: “I love to teach business owners to Work Less, Play More, Make More Money, and Create Referrals for Life!”