July 24, 2007
You can increase referrals by becoming known to influential sources whom you have not yet had the opportunity to meet. If they are sufficiently prestigious and influential, your association with them will create a “halo” or association relationship that will benefit you. Even more important is the fact that you may have the opportunity to work with them directly or benefit from the referrals sent your way.
A proven way to make contact and to influence those you do not yet know, especially influential people, is to request their participation in your research or writing project. By the way, I have never asked for a quote from an influential person for my newsletter that didn’t eventually take the time to give me one especially about their area of expertise.
So, plan a specific project and contact the influential experts for an interview. If you attribute your expert’s thinking, data or remarks in a document that is to be published, be sure to set up another meeting to review the information you have used.
At your first meeting, don’t solicit business or referrals. Instead, use this initial contact as a basis for developing a professional relationship. In the future, you can meet again for similar purposes. Meanwhile add their names to your circulation lists.
In the first or subsequent meetings, you will inevitably have an opportunity to describe your work or services. This opportunity can and often does lead directly to business or referrals.
Until next time.
Spread the word