How to Create an Endless Stream of ReferralsIn his book, Endless Referrals, Bob Burg talks about how to network your everyday contacts into sales.  Here are some questions that are in line with his advice that can allow you to build rapport with your contacts and enable to you get an endless stream of referrals. The key with each of these questions is to actually listen to what they have to say.  You will build more rapport by showing that you are interested in your contact’s story than by wowing them with all of your thought provoking questions.

1. How did you get started in the xyz business?

2. What would you say separates you and your company from your competition?  This will allow them to brag about themselves and their company without feeling guilty.

3. What do you enjoy most about your profession?  Make sure to ask this question as it will bring out a positive response and good feelings.  In turn they are more likely to have a positive response and good feelings about you.

4. What do you see as the coming trend in the xyz business?  This allows your contact to take the position of expert in their industry.  You should take any chance you have to position them in this way.  Again, this goes back to helping them to have a positive response and good feelings when around you.  When you can truly master the art of making other people feel good you will begin to receive more and more referrals.

5. What one thing would you do with your business if you knew it would be successful?  Not only does this question allow your contact to dream a bit, it also will show you areas that may need help in their business.  Areas, that you may be able to help either through your own services or through the services of your other contacts.

For example, you could say, “Ted, remember how you mentioned that you would love to hire a bookkeeping service in the future?  Well, I just recently met someone who comes highly recommended in that area.  When you are ready to move forward, just let me know and I will give you their information.”  With this small act you have shown that a) you were truly listening to them, b) that you care, c) that you want to help, and d) that you are a valuable resource.

6. What advice would you give someone just starting in the xyz business? This question again helps them take the position of expert in their industry and allows them to do some mentoring.

7. What one sentence would you like people to use in describing the way you do business?  We all have terminology that we prefer when talking to prospects that will position us in the proper light, as well as terminology that we avoid.  It is important to discover how your contacts want to be described to others so that you maintain the positioning they would like.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Starla West, Corporate Image Coach March 22, 2011 at 7:38 am

I've always said the key to boosting our personal magnetism is to create a physical presence that makes others around us feel welcomed and important. Part of that is paying close attention to HOW we engage others in conversation. We are programmed to naturally gravitate to those people who make us feel important. Creating an engaging conversation using the questions above is an excellent way to show genuine interest in other people. As a result, we make them feel important. Excellent blog post ODC Team!

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Andrew Meier March 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Interesting article

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@ROIforLIFE March 23, 2011 at 12:49 am

Enjoyed meeting Bob in person at a conference in Florida… He is the real deal! A gifted communicator, he knows that we were given 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason! Glad to have spent some time getting to know him and appreciate this post from another team who "gets" how networking really works! Keep up the good the job ODC!

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Sandra Connor March 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

This is excellent. Being process oriented myself, lists with specific actions are among my favorite in practical, digestible reading material. Tips to help solidify relationships are always welcome.

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