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The ABC’s of Asking for Referrals

There was once a member in a Chapter who sold computer equipment. Just before joining the organization, he had sold dozens of computers to a local school system. Apparently, the state legislature had earmarked a billion dollars for school systems to upgrade their computer equipment and this particular member had come across an opportunity to tap into a small piece of these allocated funds.

After joining, this individual was eager to use the contacts in the organization to identify more school systems that he could sell upgraded computers. As these opportunities represented major transactions for him, each week he focused his infomercials on seeking contacts and inroads into local school systems.

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Referrals and the Power of Structured Networking Groups

Ask any entrepreneur, sales representative or professional and they will tell you that the best source of business is referrals. These little nuggets of business gold are far more reliable and far less expensive than any other source of business. Ask these same business people and they will also tell you that finding a reliable source of referrals, however, can be one of the biggest obstacles to growing a successful enterprise – probably second only to finding good help. This is not to say that referrals never occur. They do. But they do not always occur with the consistency upon which one can rely. The initial problem for today’s businessperson is that our society tends to be more transient. Our grandparents lived in a world where everyone was intimately tied to the same few city blocks for literally generations. People watched the young child grow, marry, become a parent, and then a grandparent all in the same neighborhood. Today, we can live in a house for years and have neighbors we will never meet.

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