Networking: The Missing Step
A friend of mine is a very successful real estate agent here on the South Shore of Massachusetts. She is personable, attractive, wicked smaht and a good listener. She is also the first name that comes to a lot of people’s mind when they’re asked to give a reference—a key factor in any real estate agents success.
Is Liz more personable than the others? More attractive? Smarter? A better listener?
Perhaps. But there’s something more to it.
I believe the reason why Liz is the recipient of so many referrals comes down to her communication skills. Give her a lead, and she keeps you up to speed on how things are progressing.
That’s it. Simple. But not everyone does it.
Networking has never been easier than it is today. The ability to connect with and tap into the networks of others has been made simpler by LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Lost in this new capability is the protocol involved, specifically that of follow-up.
Case in point: I was asked by a headhunter to provide names for an open position. I obliged, but never heard back as to how things were progressing. Curious, I reached out and found out that conversations had been happening and an offer was even made. In short, things were pending. I asked to be kept informed.
Needless to say, the headhunter is no longer on my list of “Most Favored Nations.” I consider this to be bad business and do not want to be associated with anyone who lacks the common courtesy of follow-up.
Giving a referral feels good. You’ve helped out two parties and are likely to get two thank yous. If you are the recipient of a referral, it must mean that you’ve done something right or you are good at what you do. Make certain that you circle back with the person who dropped your name and keep him or her informed of the status of the sale.
Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.