A friend recently asked me this question, “ Do you have to find a business or does it find you?” The question got me to thinking. The answer was a reluctant “ It finds me;” however, I wanted to figure out why. I have not made a cold call in over 15 years, and all my business comes from referrals, my business teams, and personal introductions. So, why did I reluctantly answer yes? It occurred to me that I did not understand why. I have thought about this question because if I can figure it out, then I can attract much more business. WOW! Let me repeat; I can encourage much more business! There are many reasons that a person attracts business. Below is a short list to consider:
- Length of Time in business. Ten plus successful years is excellent.
- Depth, Size, and Credibility of your personal and business networks.
- Commitment to people. Are you known for delivering on your promises?
- Visibility. Are you an expert in your space?
What does all this have to do with setting your referral marketing on fire? In my humble opinion, a lot. All the items above, plus many more, are essential, but the biggest key that I have discovered since my friend asked me about finding business is showing compassion.
Below is part of the vision of my church. It resonates with me, and I incorporate it into my life and marketing plans. Specifically, the word that resonates is compassion.
“Mt. Bethel’s vision is to put our compassion into action through the power and presence of Jesus Christ by making, growing, nurturing, and sending disciples. We want to go beyond the yellow walls of this building to reach the least and the lost.”
Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church
I have mentioned the Law of Attraction in a few past blogs. It says that you attract into your life what you focus on the most. Let’s look at the definition of compassion from Merriam-Webster.
Compassion: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it
Examples of compassion into action:
- He felt compassion for the lost child.
- She shows compassion to the sick.
- She had the compassion to offer help when it was needed most.
I like to study and examine successful people. One of the qualities that I have found is that people who consistently show compassion to others apply the Law of Attraction to their lives. If you think about it, getting a referral is all about compassion. Referrals can come from a client, vendor, family, friend, networking group, etc. It is up to you to attract them. I believe compassion, the ability to help another person, is the key to success. Possibly one of the biggest keys. Let me share a few recent examples where I feel that I have shown compassion. A few weeks ago two of my clients stopped by the office. I was the only one there at the time. I did not have time to help them because I was up to my ears in projects, but I put the plans on hold and spent a reasonable amount of time talking and working with them. That time spent has already attracted two new referrals, and I did not even ask. A friend recently opened an art store. I knew they were struggling so I prepaid for $1000.00 worth of classes for one of my children. Another friend of mine owned a gym and mentioned he needed some gymnastic rings. I got them for him. Some business associates of mine needed a solution to a problem that I had already solved, so I gave it to them. As you can see, some of the items are pretty big, and some are pretty small. Big or small does not matter. What matters is showing compassion in any way you can.
The original question has undoubtedly initiated a chain reaction of thoughts for me, and most of those thoughts have centered around that word compassion. What would my business be like if all my time was spent helping others be successful? I have goals for giving and for community service. I actively look for opportunities to use my resources to help others.
“To sustain long-term, lasting success, you have to be a compassionate human being.” David Alexander
Networking is about forming quality, meaningful relationships with other people. It’s about giving to help others. It’s about nurturing relationships. It’s about becoming known as someone who cares.
What have you done for your network lately?