What I’m about to tell you will seem counter-intuitive at first, but bear with me.
The Golden Rule is not the best way to ensure success in referral marketing. For those unfamiliar with this philosophy, it is commonly known as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” While it is a good principle to live by, a great one even, this doesn’t help you in networking or referral marketing.
Instead, you should consider implementing the Platinum Rule in your networking efforts. This, put simply, is treating others the way they would like to be treated. Referral marketing is closely linked with relationships, and what better way to develop a relationship than adjusting how you treat someone to their wants and needs?
There are three people involved in a referral: You, the referral source, and the prospective referral. All three of these people come into play when you consider how to implement the Platinum Rule.
You. How do you work best? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
The referral source. How does the person communicate best, or like to be communicated with? How do they like to be treated? If you expect someone to pass a referral to you, you must communicate with them in a way that they appreciate and in a way that works well for them.
The prospect. How does the prospect like to be communicated with? What sales tactics work on the prospect? If you expect to close on the referral passed to you, you must be willing and able to communicate effectively with the prospect.
In the end, a networker’s greatest asset is their ability to be adaptable. You must always be willing to accommodate the people you are striving to develop relationships with – your comfort is not nearly as important as theirs.