Six years ago I received a referral to a private client who engaged my services and continues to do so to this day. On a regular basis the client will telephone and explain that there is someone they would like me to meet who could benefit from my services. They then arrange a lunch at their favourite restaurant in order to introduce us. To date more than 80% of these referrals have led to new business.

Treating a room of people you don’t know like a bunch of new business opportunities is what has given ‘networking’ a bad name. This is one of the main reasons why I have chosen to create the new social science Relationology because authentic relationships are built for long term mutual benefit, not a quick fix sales opportunity. It takes many years to build a strong network and the most powerful networks have been built over a lifetime. Consequently referrals are the result of your network not your networking.

People who regularly feed you referrals that lead to new business are extremely valuable. I describe these people as referral champions. If you would like to identify referral champions for your business carefully consider:

• Who likes, knows and trusts me?
• Who understands my products/services?
• Who believes in my products/services (normally because of some first hand experience)?
• Who are the people already within your network who you could ask to make referrals for you?

What feels like two decades ago I purchased my first property and the guy who organised my mortgage did such a great job I have used his services for every mortgage since. I like him, know him, trust him – we’re friends. I understand what he does and believe in the quality service he offers. He helps my friends, many of whom are living in houses with mortgages arranged by him. I have become one of his referral champions. This is the power of delivering everything you say you will and more, and being likeable and trustworthy. People will want to refer you to others.

If you want to understand how referrals work. If you want your own business to benefit from referrals. I would recommend you become a referral champions. Consider the people who have done great work for you and start to refer them and their services to other people you know.

Question: Who could you become a referral champion for?

Guest blogger: Matt Bird, Creator of Relationology,,

This is the third part in a four part Relationology Tip series on ‘Referral Relationships’