The Mindsets And Skillsets You Need To Get High Quality Referrals

Getting great referrals is equal parts mindset as it is skillset. I’m going to give you a quick primer on both so you can start putting them to work in your business today.

First let’s get into the mindset piece.

This part is really important, I mean seriously, if you don’t get this right then everything else you do saleswise is going to be affected by it. You could be out there networking EVERYDAY and it would be a total waste of your time if you don’t understand the mindset.  
Ok here it is.

I call it the “V-C-P” Process.

You have to be “V” – Visible.
People have to know who you are and what you do.

Then there’s “C” – Credible.
People have to know who you are and what you do, but they also have to know that you’re good at it! That you can deliver for them.

And last “P” – Profitable.
They know you, what you do, that you’re good at it, and they’re willing to pass you ongoing reciprocal referrals.

Now remember, this isn’t a sales process this is a referral process. You’re already profitable from a sales perspective, but are your clients passing you onto their friends or their business associates?

No!? That’s what I mean when I say, “You’re only at Credibility with your own clients!”

Get it?

It doesn’t make sense, right? If they’re happy customers, how come they aren’t referring you?

The Economics Of Social Capital

The answer is social capital. Have you ever met someone for the first time at a networking event and before you even get their business card in your wallet they’ve already asked you for referrals?

Doesn’t hurt to ask, right? WRONG!

This is like trying to make a withdrawal before you’ve even opened up the bank account. Good luck with that!

You need to invest in business relationships like they are real relationships, because they are real relationships. This is the fastest way to move through the V-C-P process and it’s the right way to do it too.

This is all just a fancy way to say, the best way to receive is to become great at giving.

Ok, now onto the skillset.

Here’s how you can turn that stack of business cards into real relationships by mastering the art of the “follow up.”

It call it the “24/7/30” Approach

I absolutely love in-person networking, but most of the follow up I do now actually happens online. It’s just so easy to reach out now and have another “touch point” of interaction to continue the relationship.

1. 24 Hours – First Contact

Within 24 hours after you meet, reach out online. Usually I do this by email now and say, “really great meeting you recently, love to stay connected somehow, hope our paths cross again.” Very simple and to the point.

2. 7 Days – Social Media Connect

Then sometime in the next week after meeting, I’ll reach out and connect with them on social media. Now here’s what’s really key about this step, you have to reach out and connect on the social network they like the best. If they love facebook but you prefer twitter, too bad. They’re not going to want to change for you! Find out where they like to hang out online and meet them there. I learned this the hard way with my kids, but boy am I glad I figured it out!  

3. 30 Days – Set Up A Meeting or Call

After 30 days of following up and connecting, reach out to set up a face to face meeting or call if they’re too far away for an in person meeting. But at least go for a video call so you can see each other. And here’s another pro-tip for this step, and it’s so ridiculously important, do not try to sell them on your stuff! Don’t do it at all during the whole interaction, this is still a new relationship.

Why? Because we’re building the relationship remember, not trying to make a sale.

You’re interested in getting to know them on a deeper level and really trying to understand their professional goals. This is how relationships that are valuable to both parties really get started off on the right foot.

Action Steps

  1. Follow up with someone you meet this week.
  2. Reach out by email within 24 hours of meeting them.
  3. Connect via their favorite social media within the next 7 days.
  4. Follow up for an in person or video meeting over the next 30 days.


Result You Will Achieve

Mutually beneficial relationships with new connections.

Mentor: Ivan Misner

Founder & Chief Visionary Officer at BNI, last year alone, BNI generated 8.8 million referrals resulting in roughly $11.1 billion dollars’ worth of business for its members.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.