How to Ask for a Referral

When I first started networking for business in 2002, I had no idea what I was doing.Matt with mug My only goal was to pounce on the first person I talked to and explain why they had a problem and needed to sit down with me for a complimentary coaching session! I wish I was exaggerating about my behaviour. It makes me squirm just to think about it. I was so disingenuous and desperate.

When I was at weekly leads group meetings, I would pretend to ask for introductions to people outside the group. But I was so shortsighted about business relationships that I would simply target every person in the room. I could not see past them. I didn’t understand that this made people defensive. I didn’t understand that people who like you will open doors for you and they don’t all have to be clients of yours. I didn’t understand how to ask for a referral. Since those painful days, I’ve learned that there is one way to think and two ways to ask: Continue Reading…

What do you REALLY need to be held accountable for?

What do you REALLY need to be held accountable for?
PLEASE reply …  with your answer and/or a suggestion for me.

I was reflecting over the holidays about how I could be a better spouse and more effective in business (which really translates as: how can I make more money now that I have twins at home?!) A terrific question popped into my head that I’ve been using ever since with my clients. I asked myself:

What do you REALLY need to be held accountable for?

I was surprised that what came up was missing on my current tracking systems. In addition, I’ve had a tremendous response to asking people this question. Remarkably, everyone has an answer. Sometimes they need a minute or two to think more deeply about what’s not happening and what’s not being achieved. And almost everyone’s answer is different – even around the topic of getting more and better referrals. Continue Reading…

Rabbit Trap

The Best Way to Spend One Hour/Week

“What we’re expected to do has increased between 100-200% over the past ten years,” said a client of mine yesterday – a manager in financial services. rabbit trap“The struggle is FOCUS.” I could virtually hear his head spinning. The end of year activity for his team had them staggering into the new year…to exceed what they did last year.

How many of you think that the pace of your life this year will be slower? It’s a ridiculous question, isn’t it? Except that being even busier is unlikely to make you more effective and productive. The multi-tasker is dying. Only you can monitor your self-discipline and leverage your willpower to FOCUS on the key people in your network each week rather than chasing more rabbits that you will rarely catch.

Here’s my suggestion: develop this as a referral habit. Spend an hour each week on your top 6-16 referral sources, your top 5 prospects, and your top 5 clients and think strategically about how to go deeper with some of them. For one hour, stop playing the numbers game. Even the fastest sport on the planet – Grand Prix motor racing – requires a pit stop in order to win.

Does it work? One of the first clients of mine who did this last year came back to me after three months and said: “I’ve brought in more business in the past three weeks than I have in some years!”

Logistics: she finds a coffee shop or environment outside her office, shuts off her internet connection and phone. Another client of mine tells me he does his best thinking over an early evening beer. For others it is simply closing their office door.

Continue Reading…

Seven Questions to Ask Potential Centers of Influence

When you look over a list of your top 20-30 professional contacts, there are always going to be some question marks about where you stand with certain people. Matt Anderson right before birthYou know individuals who could refer you great opportunities but they have not done so yet. What can you do to sift through which centers of influence (COIs) to spend time with, who to put on a longer-term plan, and who to pursue no longer?

While this is not a science and, because we’re talking about the colourful world of human relationships, it’s rife with exceptions, one area you can control is asking better questions.

There are seven broad goals/areas to address. Yes, there are numerous variations you can use of these questions – customise the wording to fit your personality. Continue Reading…

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