Want More Referrals: Close the Loop
posted on June 15, 2009
This simple networking tip will help you build even stronger relationships and get more referrals all in one basic step. Yet most people neglect to take this simple action.
When someone gives you a referral it's critically important to thank and acknowledge that person. Hopefully you're already in the habit of doing that, but that's not the end of line. After you've met with a referee it's almost more important to reach back to the referrer and close the loop. You need to do this even if their referral didn't generate a future opportunity. But why? You've already thanked them, why isn't that enough?
Here are 5 reasons why closing the loop is so powerful:
- It gives you the opportunity to say thank you... Again!
- Show that you value their referrals, and you value the relationship that was entrusted to you.
- You get to fill them in on what happened. They were probably wondering anyway.
- Give them feedback about why the referral was or wasn't a good fit.
- Ask for more! Now that they know how this referral worked out there's a good chance they may have others.
On the other hand if you don't take the simple effort to close the loop you leave doubt in the mind of your referrer. They may question whether or not you even cared about the referral they made. That seed of doubt is poison for future referrals.
You can even close a loop more than once. This isn't always necessary, but with a particularly good referral it's a nice gesture to provide several updates to your referrer. For example let's say that someone referred you a substantial contract opportunity. You might follow-up the first time letting your referrer know that you had a really great conversation and are continuing to persue this opportunity. It seemed to be a good fit. Then again once the contract is signed and you start doing some of the work. Then there may be a future milestone that creates a great opportunity to reach out one more time. Maybe the contract renewed after a period of time because it's going so well, or maybe you just want to share how much you're enjoying the work and the opportunity they created.
Put yourself in the other persons shoes. Wouldn't you like to know what happened with your referrals? If you always heard back and got great feedback each time wouldn't you be more willing to refer that person again in the future?
Who can you reach out to today to thank and close the loop on one of your more recent referred opportunities?
Author: Scott Ingram