As a small business owner, I am always on the lookout for potential new business. Not just with people and businesses that would benefit from my products and services, but also with people who can make introductions and refer me to people they know. This, of course, is sales and networking 101.
This type of networking usually pays off in time. Seldom do I expect to meet someone and then have new business referred to me by that person right away. It’s a numbers game. For every 10 people you meet who agree to refer business to you, you might get two or three referrals a year from one of them.
Sometimes, though, it can pay off quickly.
After the first session of a workshop series, I met with a few other participants over the next several weeks. One of them agreed to introduce me to clients who would need our mobile marketing product. A couple weeks later, this person introduced me to a prospective client of his. We met with the prospective client together and, over the next few weeks, he followed up with them. That was great because it is usually better for the person referring the business to do the follow-up. Shortly after that, they called him and said they wanted to move forward with the product.
This process took about six weeks from the time the referring partner and I met until the time when the referral became a customer. Six weeks might seem like a long time, but it goes by quickly, which is why it’s important to do a lot of networking at all times to keep multiple irons hot. You never know when one is going to pop.
By Ryan J. Gerardi