Red Light Networking

by Sandra Hart on August 12, 2014 · 0 comments

SH-BNIUK-198-red traffic light pic 11-08-14I was stopped at a red light at some road works a few weeks ago and the car ahead of me (who was nearest the lights) just moved off and ran the red light.  Maybe he just got sick of waiting, or maybe he thought that the lights were broken and stuck on red as they seemed to stay red for ages.

So there I was, now the first in the line, thinking to myself, “He broke the rules….is he OK? Has he caused an accident? Is this stupid traffic light broken? It’s still red for goodness sake…shall I go? Or stay?”

Anyway, before I could ponder any further the light turned green and all was good again, I caught up with him at a crossing later and he was fine!

About a week later at the exact same road works I came across the same situation, I was the second car in the queue waiting for the traffic light to change, again it seemed to stay red for ages. This time though there was one significant difference, there was a little countdown clock under the traffic lights telling us how many minutes and seconds were left to green, and sure enough as soon as it counted down to zero, the lights changed to green.

Such a small change made such a big difference, it brought certainty where there had been doubt, trust where there had been questions and security where there had been danger.

This is something to think about in business – what are you doing to bring certainty, trust and security to your clients? They need to know that you can follow up on your promises and deliver what they want on time and in budget.

What about when you are networking, generating referrals or word of mouth? Where do you bring certainty to your clients and referral partners?

Here are a few tips in the referral process to bring certainty:

  • Never promise timelines on someone else’s behalf
  • Always follow up on your own promised timelines
  • If things go wrong, handle the situation as fast as possible without adding blame to a third party
  • Keep the communication open
  • Add in feedback loops where possible through your referral partners to see how your service was perceived and where you can improve.

Always make sure your clients, colleagues and referral partners know when the light will turn green. We would love to hear more ideas from you on how you bring certainty to your clients and referral partners!

Sandra Hart
Sandra Hart runs BNI, Irelands leading business referral organisation, she trains and mentors members and leads a team who enable local business people to find new clients and generate new business. She is an expert on the topics of networking, word of mouth marketing and referrals.

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