Get By With A Little Help From Your Friends
Do you have friends that have ever asked if they could help you in any way? It may have been a causal comment or it may have been focused on your business. How have you answered? Most people do not see that interaction for the opportunity that it is and let it slip by because you haven't given enough thought to the type of help you may need. You may not have your “elevator speech” developed for this question – and you should. Being primed to share the specific items or services you need assistance with may be the difference in making your next big sale.
Your friends, family and business acquaintances are all possible connections to help you better develop your network and your prospects and can make a real difference in the success of your business. They can:
Provide you with referrals. Providing you with the names of specific individuals who need your products and services in a tremendous way to provide assistance. They can also share your name and contact information with prospects. As the number of referrals you receive increases, so does your potential for increasing the percentage of your business generated through referrals.
Make introductions. Your contacts can assist you build new relationships faster by introducing you in person to people they think need your products and services. They can also provide key information about the prospect and share a few things about you with them, including, how the two of you met, some of the things you and the prospect have in common, and the value of your products and services which makes the introduction seem much less formal.
Endorse your products and services. Whether by word of mouth or entering a comment on your website or social media pages, they can share what they have gained from using your products or services and encourage others to use do the same.
Display your literature and products in their offices and homes. If strategically placed, such as on a counter or bulletin board in a waiting room, visitors will ask questions or read the information. Some may take your promotional materials and display them in other places, increasing your visibility.
Post on Social Media. Your contacts can share your posts onto their feeds and pages, expanding the reach of your message to their networks as well.
Publish information for you. They may be able to get information about you and your business printed in publications they subscribe to and in which they have some input or influence, like a community or trade newsletter or eblast.
Knowing how to match your needs with the right sources is key to obtaining the type of help you require. But remember, it is very important to offer the same help as well for your friends and associates, so you can help them promote their businesses and generate referrals. Helping your sources achieve their goals goes a long way toward building effective and rewarding relationships.
It’s also good practice to develop a list of ways to reward referral sources for helping you. Once a referral has become a customer, be sure to recognize and reward your source appropriately. Doing so encourages them to send you more referrals. The key is to find a unique, memorable way to say thank you and to encourage your colleagues and friends to keep sending you referrals that turn into business.
Your friends can be an important part of your business success. And if you nurture their network, and give to get, you could develop referrals into a major part of your revenues.