Here’s a riddle that illustrates the point of accountability. Five frogs sat on a log at the edge of a pond. Four of the frogs decided to jump into the pond. How many frogs were left sitting on the log? Answer: five. Deciding to jump in and actually jumping in are two different things.
Deciding to do the work of developing your network’s effectiveness is only the first step in the process. You have to do it. You have to figure out how many referrals you need to make your business thrive. Then I suggest having a system in place to hold yourself accountable for making it happen.
The problem is nobody likes accountability, but it is kind of like veggies; you might not like them but you know they are good for you.
Let’s talk about ways to increase your referral accountability. I have four ideas.
Create A Referral Advisory Board:
Who is on your referral advisory board? Having a team to hold you accountable is critical to success. People generally work best when they are accountable to someone other than themselves for accomplishing certain tasks. It’s too easy to procrastinate when we have no one to answer to but ourselves. Whether you’re starting a diet, beginning an exercise routine, or growing and developing your referral network, involving another person or group of people in the process will greatly enhance your chances for success.
Knights of the Roundtable:
Close around you, like the knights around King Arthur’s Round Table will be your most trusted and intimate friends, colleagues, and family members. The most successful networkers usually have six to twelve people in their inner circle; relationships that have come from any or all of the streams of their network. The deep relationships with these strong contacts bring them most of the business they need and provide a steady, high-quality supply of new contacts and prospects. Referrals from outside this inner circle are simply icing on the cake. If you ask this inner circle to hold you accountable, they will because they are invested in your success.
Keeping Score Improves the Score:
Join a Business Networking Group like BNI. As many of you know, one of my many roles is being the Executive Director of BNI. I just finished conducting Leadership Training for the new Leadership Teams of these chapters. We had great discussions about driving member performance higher. We track many things weekly: referrals, strategic referral partner meetings, the business generated, and visitors to each chapter meeting. People are competitive and work hard to be at the top of this list. This weekly meeting with your referral partners provides great top of mind accountability.
Hire a Coach:
This one is personal. It occurred to me that over the years every time I hit a new high or created a breakthrough it was due to having a coach. I have had many over the years. When I had a business break one million in sales for the first time, it was due to a coach. When I started additional businesses leveraging my knowledge it was because of a coach. When I built a high performing team, it was because of a coach. When I lost 40 pounds and got in the best shape of my life, it was because of a coach. When I started competing in triathlons, it was because of a coach. You see, coaches help you see things you can’t see, learn things you don’t know, and, most importantly, a good one holds you accountable.
I encourage you to do something. Make a choice to get more referrals and then put in an accountability system to make it happen. Don’t just decide to jump off the log, jump, if that does not work then have someone push you.