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Generating business referrals

Question
How can I get the members of my networking group to refer me more leads? 
Answer
First, you have to be worthy of a referral. If you're not getting the number you want, perhaps it's not your network, but your work. Before you're too hard on your network, check your own position and reputation within the group.

Second, perhaps your efforts should focus more on “training a sales force,” than on trying to “close a sale.” Educate your network about the specifics of your business and what to look for in order to refer you effectively. Remember, it's not their job to be your expert. They have interests of their own. You have to make it easy for them to refer you.

Here are three key points to consider for educating people in your networking groups:

1) Do not generalize when asking for referrals. Be specific in what you're looking for.

2) Bring support materials to meetings. Help them help you.

3) When introducing yourself, break your business down into the lowest common denominators. Again, a simple message is more easily told. 
Brain Trust contributor: Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chairman of BNI and author of many books, including Truth or Delusion?and Masters of Success
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