• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • Secrets to Getting More Referrals – Part 2

    Increasing Your “Referability” Factor


    Getting referrals and attracting opportunities from people you connect with both in person and online comes down to being highly referable.

    Last week I posed some questions to help you assess your referability factor. The first three test whether you’re giving contacts enough information to make the referral:

    • Can contacts reach you?
    • Can they describe what you do?
    • Do they know whom to tell?

    The fourth question, “Will they?” tests whether you’re giving them enough inclination to do so. It may seem that this part is completely out of your hands and you can’t do much but sit back and hope for the best. But this is what separates the novice networkers from the expert ones. There’s still a lot you can—and should—do. It all comes down to building your case in two key areas:

    Giving the inclination

    1) Their belief in the quality of your work.

    Because your contacts put their reputations on the line when they make recommendations on your behalf, they have to know that you’re the best person for the job.

    • Do you come across as confident and knowledgeable in your interactions? While you don’t want to be cocky, it’s important to show that you have a strong belief in your own work.
    • Can you demonstrate your authority in your field, for example, through books, articles, blogs, public speaking and interviews? People like to refer experts, and seeing tangible proof of your abilities will raise their comfort level with you.
    • Do others speak highly of you? Do you have strong client case studies or testimonials? This shows that others believe in you too.

    2) The strength of your relationship.

    Have you developed enough rapport so they’d want to take the time to help you?

    • Have you taken the time to learn about them? This shows that you’re interested in what they’re doing and what their goals are.
    • Have you offered help or already given it? Even if someone doesn’t need help at that moment, your willingness to help will go a long way to building goodwill.
    • Do you have personal chemistry? Sometimes we want to help people simply because we like them and want to see them do well.

    Generating new business consistently should be a natural outcome of proper networking, and you do control more of the process than you think. So if you’re putting yourself out there but not getting the quantity or quality of leads you want, then spend some time figuring out where in this referral process you may be falling short. Is it in the information or in the inclination? You need to have both.


    Liz Lynch is founder of the Center for Networking Excellence and author of Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and Online (McGraw-Hill, 2008).

    Authors note: After forty posts here on PersonalBrandingBlog.com it’s time for me to say goodbye so I can focus on some new initiatives for the Center for Networking Excellence for 2010. I’m eternally grateful to Dan, the PBB team, and all the loyal readers for giving me a chance to share my insights on networking here in this forum. It’s been extremely rewarding.

    Let’s stay connected! Please find me on Twitter at @liz_lynch, or on my own Smart Networking blog. I look forward to interacting and answering your questions. Happy networking!


    Liz is author of Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and Online (McGraw-Hill, 2009) and a sought-after speaker who brings a practical and insightful perspective to networking that has connected with a global audience. Her printed and audio products have sold on six continents, she’s been invited to speak at conferences and organizations around the world, and her writings have been translated into multiple languages. Liz is also founder of the Center for Networking Excellence, a company that develops products, programs and seminars to help entrepreneurs and professionals get clients, build their businesses, and accelerate their careers through networking.

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