Friday, 23 August 2013

Networking and Referrals

Your bookkeeper in Reading

‘People buy from people’ is a mantra you will hear at many a networking event.  We want to work with people we like and trust.  It’s the reason we are happy to refer the plumber or builder who did work in the house. 

Networking and referrals are the mainstay of many a small business.  Which is why I cannot understand why at several recent networking events there is nearly always someone who either comes up to me while I’m in mid conversation with someone, butts in and says ‘can’t stop but I’m  Joe X, I do this, here’s my card, gotta go’. Alternatively we’ll be in a group listening to a conversation and you can see one of the ‘listeners’ has switched off and eyes have glazed over.  OK I can understand it’s because they’re not interested in X’s product but either excuse yourself or feign interest.   I know both these types of people are not going to get my referral if I get asked to recommend someone in their profession. 
I always say that it’s not likely to be the contact I meet at networking that’s likely to be my client but a contact of theirs, current or future.  In the same way I may not have need of their skills but may know / meet someone who does.

There are some people I see regularly at various networking or trade shows and we always ask how the others getting on, what they’ve been up to etc, and these are the ones that I’m more likely to  remember when someone asks ‘can you recommend’ or ‘the type of contact I’m after is’…….
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