Be First

Kevin Willett says don’t wait for other to give you what you want, make it happen.

When I was a little boy, I used to go to boxing matches. I’d always hear the expression “Be first,” which means punch first. I just realized that this applies to networking also. People often tell me they’re in a referral-based networking group, but they don’t receive referrals from certain members of the group. My first question is, “Have you ever passed them a referral?” Typically, the answer is, “No, I haven’t met anyone who needs their services.” I always encourage them to do three things:

  • First, search hard for a referral for them or introduce them to someone who may be a great referral partner (referral partners are people who can consistently pass references to each other, like a realtor and a mortgage broker).
  • Second, do coffee meetings with those people to educate them about your business and help them find referrals for you. One common answer I get is, “But Kevin, I’m a realtor. Everyone knows what I do.” Not true, my friends. Most of my realtor friends have niches they specialize in. There’s something unique about every business owner, so take the time to meet with those members and educate them about what’s unique about you.
  • Third, don’t be shy about asking for referrals. If you have clients who are happy with your work, ask them to introduce you to their friends who may need your services. I can often be shy about asking for referrals. But think about it. If I meet you, of course I’m going to tell you my networking group is great. What am I supposed to tell you, that it stinks? It’s so much more powerful when members of my group tell you that it’s great. Eighty-five percent of my clients come from referrals from existing clients. Now do you understand why you should ask your clients for referrals?

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this Business Networking Tip

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events.

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