By Marilyn Shannon
If you are reading this you probably, in one way or another, pass referrals or like to receive referrals whether this is for your own business, a doctor, a lawyer you just happen to know, or maybe even a great seamstress. Everyone, for the most part, is in the relationship of doing this every now and then, for whatever reason.
Before I tell you who a referral artist is, let me first tell you who it isn’t.
Understanding this art is in the creative time – in doing the art itself. Being the artist.
The idea is that there’s more to a referral than simply: Here is someone who can buy your product! Those are certainly great and we all want them, but being a great referral artist is more.
The greatest referral artist is not someone who is waiting to give you a referral because they think someone will buy your product. Let’s stop just looking for those referrals. Let’s expand our definitions of referrals to an art form
In networking, the saying goes that not everyone you meet is going to buy a home from your best friend. As a referral artist, you may ask yourself: What else can I do to help the person I’m networking with?
Conversely, a referral artist can help my business in multiple ways. They listen to me and for me. They are holding a brush for me, waiting to create a stroke on my behalf/canvas
A referral artist is a matchmaker; they want to make a match made in heaven for their colleague or friend. When the matches meet, they can’t stop talking and their excitement is felt throughout the coffee shop! The referral artist is someone who creatively thinks of ways outside the box about how they can stir up a lead. They ask themselves, where can we go together so that you can help me and I can help you? What ways can we play off of each other? That’s the music.
The artist comes up with an idea and passes it!
Let’s think about it like this, the artist is someone who realizes that their piece of art – the referral they pass – is something that can take time to develop, but when it is done it is really cool. It took love and care. That is what a referral artist does.
These are people who take time and energy with their referrals. In today’s world, where there are so many entrepreneurs depending on each other to be each other’s sales force, marketing agency, call center, coach, and on and on that it’s necessary to take our referral art to new levels.
Here is a short list of ideas that I have discovered as I become more of a referral artist. Oh, one more thing as you become more of “the artist,” let people know who you are and how you will be referring them. We can’t keep going to the same well in the same way; we must find new water, dirt, resources. Let them know what you, too, are looking for…whether it is to speak, sell, educate, write, whatever it is.
Every connection is a referral. Going out into the world for fun, work, or need, is part of the network we build. Keep your listening alert for anything.
Ok here are a few ideas:
- Tell your friends when you have a speaking gig and ask them to come with you and do the same in reverse. Why? because you get to introduce them and they get to introduce you.
- Create events, together. Don’t wait for an event. Bring the party to you. It is much easier to touch 10+ people at your event in an hour than it is to go out into the street and speak to 10 people one at a time.
If you have some ideas about this please pass them along to me firstname.lastname@example.org and in the follow-up to this I will share it with our audience and of Corse give you the byline (that is a referral). I would love to generate a creative list for the artist in me and you. The artist in me loves the artist in you, and looks forward to our artists getting together.