Read the Paper, with Referral Intent . . . 02/16/09
Most people read the newspaper to gain insight into local and world events and news–and that’s all. I’m suggesting that you try reading the paper a little differently–to look for opportunities for referrals.
Pick up your local newspaper and scan the front page. Turn to the local section, then the business news, and then the lifestyle section. The paper is teeming with opportunities for you to act as a gatekeeper for the people in your network. Every page presents problems or significant issues of one kind or another.
What are people saying? Who is talking about problems or changes in her company or industry? What is happening that could have a direct impact on you or someone in your network? Who is in need of the services of someone you know? Where are there networking opportunities for you and your marketing team?
So why not start out by reading the paper this week with referral intent for two people in your network? Find each of them an opportunity or a lead that they might capitalize on through their network. Then find your own business a lead or two on which you can capitalize, and begin to ask your network for help in making the connection for you.
Clearly, these are more “leads” than “referrals.” However, there’s nothing wrong with telling a business associate about the details you just read about relating to a new company moving into town. It’s good to show your referral partners you are looking out for them and–you never know–it could turn into something good.
Try this strategy out and then come back and leave a comment to let me know how it worked out–I’m very interested to see what happens!