Referrals are a cornerstone of new business, in fact, 84% of B2B decision-makers say they start the buying process with a referral. Also, revenue generated via referrals is much higher on average.

So how can we generate referrals?

We recently spoke to Dave Plunkett, Chief Collaborator at Collaboration Junkie and he explained as to why it’s important to be a referrer in order to receive referrals.

Referrals: What’s the big deal?

Referrals and word of mouth are the oldest form of marketing out there, and for most businesses, it’s still the most successful. But so few people actually put a strategy behind it. In fact, in the same survey mentioned above, only 30% of the company surveyed had a formalised referral program. 

Considering the value that can be attributed to them, this is a surprisingly low percentage of people taking advantage. However, having a programme is only small part of winning referrals.

How do I go about getting referrals?

Apologies for paraphrasing JFK here, but maybe rather than asking how we can get referrals, we should be asking how we can make referrals for other people that we know and value.

“Give. Openly give. This doesn’t always have to be a client referral by just being someone who actively passes introductions and is seen as doing that. And just goes that extra mile. You become someone who’s known as a connector of people and the law of reciprocity kicks in and you will get more referrals”, says Dave.

“It could be anything. It could be a referral. Maybe it could be an introduction just because they’re a useful person. It could be to a potential partner. It could be maybe an event that you think someone might be interested in. Or a book or anything like that. If you think of someone, you go: “Oh, they’d like that.” Take the time to do it.

If you actively give and you actively and openly share where you’ve got connections to make and you’re generous with your network, people will be generous with theirs. I can’t stress that enough.”

Referrals sometimes come from unexpected sources

Whilst sharing referrals to our clients, ex-clients, peers and network may well yield referrals from them, sometimes they can arrive from unexpected quarters.

“Often it’s not directly from the people. I pass out connections a lot. It’s what I do. Whenever I have a one-to-one with someone, there had to be at least one connection I’m going to make afterwards. And lo and behold, I get a good amount back, but it’s not always directly from those people.

For those of you that have done BNI there’s a thing they say there, which is Givers Gain®. And whatever your thoughts on BNI that, motto does ring true around being openly giving with your network.”

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Dave Plunkett

Dave Plunkett, Chief Collaborator, Collaboration Junkie

Dave is a music and football-loving Dad of 3 from the South West of England. His passion for enjoying life, and connecting with each other and the things we love, is the only thing that outweighs his passion for partnerships and collaboration (can you see the connection theme?)

Over the course of his career, Dave has developed hundreds, if not thousands, of partnerships. From growing his own membership organisation to 2000 members almost entirely through referrals and strategic partnerships to providing access to the SME market for global brands such as Regus & Volvo, reaching nearly 1 million business owners along the way.

In 2020 (pre COVID), fed up with the business he was running, Dave set up Collaboration Junkie. Helping ambitious business owners leverage their credibility to get high quality leads, on a consistent basis, from trusted 3rd parties, making Lead Generation an enjoyable process!