Want more referrals for your business? This is the best way to get them!

Alex: How do I get more referals for my business without spending a lot of time and money?

Sunni: Networking!

Alex: Hmmm … you mean breakfast meetings and elevator pitches?

Sunni:  No. I mean on-line networking groups. They’re bigger and faster.

Alex: So I should join a group and post links to my website and hope people will visit it?

Sunni: NO! Networking means getting to know people in the group. You comment on their posts, ask them questions, congratulate them when they’re doing well, sympathise when they’re not, have a laugh with them, be interested in what they do and who they are.

Alex: Sounds like its all about them and not about me.

Sunni: Exactly

Alex: Wait! What’s this?

Sunni: It’s a seagull. Seagulls swoop in on conversations, dump their message and leave – or worse – they only show up when there’s something on offer that they want then they try and steal it. Don’t be a seagull!

Alex: So if I can’t just advertise what I do or pick up work on offer, how does that help me?

Sunni: This is all about building relationships. People love it when you’re interested in them first. They’ll think you’re a really genuine person and when you post something about what you’re doing, they’ll ask you about it. Its all about trust and knowing you’re not going to dump on them or steal from them.

Alex: OK, I’m getting the idea. And then what?

Sunni: When people get to know you, and they like you and the work you do, they’ll be happy to refer clients to you.

Alex: Doesn’t that take a long time?

Sunni:  Not if you’re talking to 100s of people at the same time.

Alex: WHAT?!

Sunni: In a group with several hundred members only a few will actively engage with you but the rest watch and see how you interact, see what you do, get to know your talents, your values, your personality and that you’re a trusted person, so referrals come from them too.

Alex: No business cards? No elevator pitches? No kickbacks?

Sunni: No. Just conversations with people you probably end up making friends with.

Alex: Wow. How do I get started?

Sunni: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3143015/