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Tim's latest book, Leads To Referrals was published on  June 25, 2013 and rose to the #1 spot on Amazon.com's Hot New Releases where it stayed for most of the day.  ...

The World's Worst Networker

Auld Lang Syne Networking

Happy New Year!   If you were in an English speaking country, you probably sang or heard the popular song, “Auld Lang Syne” being played as part of the traditional first song of the New Year.   The song actually came from a poem written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1798.  “Auld Lang Syne” translated into English literally means “old long since” or more idiomatically, “long, long ago” or “in days gone by”.

Most of us are familiar with the Pareto Principle, more commonly referred to as the “80/20 Rule”:  80% of our results are derived from 20% of our efforts;  or 80% of sales come from 20% of your customers.  Yet as business people, we tend to focus our networking efforts to obtain new referrals; but what about those past referrals and referral sources?  We spend hundreds of hours each year and thousands of dollars chasing new business when we can and should further cultivate those relationships we currently have and those which we had, in “auld lang syne.”

To borrow a lyric from the song, “should auld acquaintance be forgot,” here are three ways to help you to get reacquainted with former networking partners and clients:

  •  Send a Greeting Card:  In this day of instant communication (text messages, email, instant messages etc.) people actually will appreciate your sending them something that is physical and cause them to stop and take notice.  A greeting card with a simple message such as: “It’s been a while since we were last in touch. I’d love to catch up with you” can motivate them to reach out to you.    (For a fast, simple way to send a personalized greeting card to someone in less than a minute, I highly recommend using Sendoutcards.com.   Just click that link and try the system for free as my gift!).
  •    Ask for a Reintroduction:  If it’s been a while since you last met with someone and feel awkward in reaching out to them, ask your current referral partners and even your customers if they know that person.   Find out how strong of a relationship they have and if it’s strong enough say that you would like a reintroduction. (Yes, actually say reintroduction). Then ask if they would be willing to reintroduce you.   If they question why you want to be reintroduced, be honest.  Tell them that you had met the person before and were thinking about them recently and wanted to make contact to learn how you and they could possibly help each other.
  •   Make Them an Offer:  Have you ever purchased something in the past and months (or years) later got an offer in the mail or an email from the merchant offering an incentive or a discount to come back to buy something else?  You can do something similar with your former referral partners and previously referred clients/customers/patients.  Offer them a discount/bonus/incentive if they refer you a client or customer that does make a purchase. Then extend a similar discount/bonus/incentive to the person that was referred, if they refer you someone to you.

By reconnecting and building stronger bonds with those in our networks, we are working smarter instead of working harder.  The end result will pay incredible dividends in our building our network, enhancing relationships and ultimately in our ability to give and receive referrals.

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