Leads vs Referrals

In the world of networking I often find myself seeking new ways to create referral connections. I am not a fan of “leads” or “leads based groups”. To me, a lead is no more than someone mentioning me, or passing my business card. Although I certainly appreciate that and I am grateful for those who help my business get attention it does little for me to act upon. For those of you that understand the Gallup Strengths Finder assestment let me just say I am a HIGH Achiever and Activator! Those strengths mean I am not one to wait for things to come along but rather I go out and create or act on what I want to create more of in my life. A lead allows me to do neither.

Through BNI I have learned the difference between a lead as mentioned above and a REAL referral!! A referral is a connection someone else has cultivated for me then introduces me to the potential client/customer. With a referral I have a name, or contact information and THAT is the magic ingredient I can act on! Once someone has trusted me with their friend, colleague or loved ones contact information I can make a connection that offers value!

Let’s consider those leads for a moment. If I were to try and act on a lead it would be a passive use of time. I wait for someone to reach out to me. Whereas, is I have a referral I can be proactive and make a connection with a person that is ALREADY expecting me to contact them. That is powerful! I can jump right in to do what I do best- ADD Value! Whether they need help with their homeschool journey, are looking for support for their health or want to build deeper business networks I am able to step into that relationship from the start with content that supports them.

Once I learned the power of true connections in Referrals I saved myself so much time chasing leads. I invest in activities that lead to true referrals and build connections with those already prepared and ready to talk about my services and products. By investing in a BNI Chapter each week I develop deeper understanding of what “my sales team” needs from me to help build my referral network. I also am able to listen intentionally in a different way to help find referrals for them. This skill can be transferred outside of BNI as well.

To create more referrals for yourself do these 3 things consistently…

  1. Identify clearly who you want to work with and how you can help them
  2. Create clear pathways for others to connect with you (this could be an e-course, a website, a phone number or in person office hours)
  3. Educate those that support your business on how they can share those two things with others. VIOLA!! Referral connections are coming your way!

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