I live in a historic, well really just old, house. It was built in 1920 and challenges us weekly with quirky things that are the result of many different people living and working on this house over the years. This summer I decided that I wanted to paint the exterior of my abode, so I spent some time with my husband picking out colors and trying them on for size. We eventually landed on a combo that we thought served our Craftsman-style home well.
With the colors all picked out, I was ready to paint. Just hand me a brush!
But, like the networking lessons I have learned in BNI, I quickly realized that a little prep work would go a long way toward making my paint stick. Like prepping for painting, prepping a referral can make all the difference:
- Tools: Now is the time, before you start any actual work, to assemble all the tools you may need to do the work, such as business cards or brochures.
- Clean: Do a little ‘rolodex” housekeeping and make sure you have the most accurate and up-to-date info on anyone you plan on referring.
- Fill: Make sure that any possible referral holes are filled by having a one-to-one meeting with your fellow BNI member before you refer them.
- Sand: Knock off any rough edges or sticky spots during the meeting. Ask them to educate you on how to best refer them. For example some businesses may have set rates that they want you to share, while others simply want a warm introduction.
After making the referral (or painting), it simply makes sense to go back and check your work. Were there any areas missed? Does something need to be gone over again? Making sure to check in with both parties is a sure-fire way to make your referral stick.