Rule #3 Educate your contacts by what you say and do.
Think about the last time a contact sent you a referral? Did you take the time to send a thank you card. Did you keep him in the loop and share the results. Did you actually call the referral? If not, you just taught your contact to never send you a referral again.
Have you ever have a friend buy what you sell from someone else and when you mentioned it to her, she said she did not know that you did that? Ouch!
Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly teaching our contacts, either by the words we say and the action we take, or by our the things we don't do. Here are a few questions to help you see how well you are educating your contacts.
Do your contacts know exactly what you do? Whose responsibility is it to be sure that they understand the value that you bring to the table?
Do your contacts know that you appreciate them and the value that they bring to your life?
Do your clients know that you appreciate their business? When was the last time you told them? We either teach our contacts that they matter or we teach them that they don't. When was the last time you sent a note letting a contact know that you appreciate them, not because they sent you a referral or made a purchase, but just because?
Do your contacts know what a good referral for you looks like? Have you told them? If not, they don't know. Do you know who would be a good referral for your contacts? If not, ask them.
I could go on and on about the little things that make so much difference, but I think you get the point.
We are constantly teaching, either by what we say and do, or by what we fail to say and do. What lessons are you sharing with your contacts?
Answer the above questions and then act on your results. If you find areas that need work, don't try to fix them all at once. Instead, follow Benjamin Franklin's approach and select one question each week and make it a priority to work on it every day. I suggest you schedule the area that you are working on into your daily to-do list and treat it like an appointment you must keep.
In our 4th and final lesson we'll look at how and why you should create your own keep-in-touch program.