Word of Mouth Referrals is the number #1 answers when business owners are asked where their clients come from. But will that be the case post COVID-19?  Only if you handle the current situation correctly.

With limits on in person gatherings, everything is being cancelled. While it’s true that the limit is different where you are, 25, 50, or 200, the situation continues to evolve at the speed of light.

As I write this article, there are more press announcements coming out which make some of my statements inaccurate…just know, it’s fluid, and that’s what your business needs to be right now…fluid!

You need to spin on a dime!  Be flexible, and work with your clients and partners to come up with solutions, however when it comes to your ability to get referrals, it can be quite limiting in this current climate.

That’s why you need to double down on virtual networking. Here’s a simple series of steps to follow to ensure you are still connecting with others so that you can get more referrals when you come out of this on the other side…

The Virtual Networking Process

  • Identify who is your ideal referral source
  • Find these folks on LinkedIn and connect with them
  • Once connected, with new or existing people, send them an invite to meet virtually.  Here are 3 tools you can use that are FREE to meet virtually with others:
    • Zoom – Free for 2 people up to 40 minutes
    • Skype
    • Google Hangouts (Google Hangouts Meet)
  • Use this sample message to connect and invite them to chat…
  • When they reply yes, you would ideally send them a calendar scheduling link. Using a tool like this shows them the calendar availability in real time and eliminates the need to go back and forth all the time. Here are a few tools that connect with Google Calendar
    • Acuity – I’ve used this in the past
    • Book Like A Boss – I use this one now
    • Calendly – I’ve never used this but I’ve scheduled meetings with many people that do use it.

Sample Message

Hi ___,
With the big changes in the world (COVID-19) I’ve decided to hold some 1 to 1 networking meetings. I wanted to reach out to learn more about what you do, and share with you what I’m up to.  Do you have some time this week to chat?

What To Say During The Meeting

When you hold the meeting, ask your contact about their business, and then ask them followup questions about what they told you. Finally be sure to ask them “Who can I introduce you to?” This question is meant to allow you to connect them with someone that could help them or be a good resource. This is not a sales question, meaning if they tell you who their ideal client is that you can refer, push back and tell them “Sure, that makes sense, but I think I’m more likely to be able to connect you with someone who works with those people, so who would be an ideal referral partner for you?”  

Be sure to let them know who your ideal referral source is. If you are speaking to your ideal referral source, then start building the relationship. Find ways to relate with them, and just have a conversation. Finally, set another followup, or share with them the link to your calendar with an agreement to connect again in a few weeks and check in.

Virtual Networking Post Meeting Actions

Look for some of the partners they mentioned, and try to connect them. Once you start connecting and introducing people to one another, they will do the same for you!

Work this process as much as you can, attempting to fill your calendar with people that can bring you joy in this time of uncertainty!

This will work, trust the process, and trust that you’ll come through this in a position to be getting more referrals with the economy comes back to life!

If you want to know how much money you can make from referral partners, download the free Referral Revenue Calculator at www.FireUpReferrals.com. Fill out a few fields and you can see the revenue that you can create from doing this type of virtual networking with referral sources, or as I call them, referral partners.

Fire Up Referrals