Why People Actually Like to Help You

by Andy Lopata on April 10, 2014 · 0 comments

It’s amazing how often people are nervous about asking for referrals. It’s as if we are scared of being a burden to our networks rather than taking pleasure by enabling them to do something they enjoy.

Yes, something they enjoy. Because, in my experience, most people seem to derive more pleasure from making a connection that makes a positive difference to someone else than they do even from receiving such introductions.

Stop thinking about referrals to you, as an imposition on others. As long as you add value to the person you’re being referred to, as long as you are providing them with a solution to a problem they face, or satisfying a desire they have, then you are anything but. 

Make the request for a referral as much about helping your potential customer as it is about helping you. The aim is for what I call a ‘win triangle’. Your Champion wins by looking good, your prospect wins by you solving their problems and you win with a new client.

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For a ‘win triangle’ to be in place you have to be focused on being an asset to your prospect and ensuring that your Champion looks good. But if you can’t do that, should you really be in business?

Last week I spoke with one of the most successful wealth advisors in the United States. He has built much of his business on referrals and he shared this wonderful definition of referrals with me:

“A referral is sending someone you care about to someone you trust.”

I shared that definition on various social media platforms and the response was uniformly positive. People like the image of such trusted connections. And who wouldn’t want to refer someone they care about to someone they trust? The image fills you with confidence and warmth.

Not all referrals can be categorised as such. In Recommended I talk about the difference between ‘unqualified’ referrals such as these and referrals which you qualify because you can’t truly vouch for the service provider.

If, however, you build strong relationships with your network, develop trust and take people to a place where they want to refer you then why should you be nervous about asking?

By failing to do so you’d only be denying your Champions the pleasure of helping people they care about.

 Andy Lopata co-presents The Global Networking Show once a month with BNI Founder Ivan Misner.

Andy Lopata
Labelled ‘Mr Network’ by The Sun, Andy Lopata was called ‘one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists’ by the Financial Times. The co-author of two books on networking, Andy‘s third book, ‘Recommended: How to Sell Through Networking and Referrals’ was published by Financial Times Prentice Hall in July 2011.

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