Preparation for a Better Referral Request

Small businesses account for 97% of businesses in Australia yet on average 60% will shut their doors in the first 3 years. There are many reasons why this happens but one of the key ones is being underprepared for running a business. Just because you were a good accountant or a great lawyer working for someone else doesn’t guarantee you’re going to run a successful firm.

One of the main skills that is lacked is being able to get up in front of people and selling yourself, your services and your business. Public speaking is hard. It’s an acquired skill that some may never be fully comfortable with. Now, we don’t have to get over the fear, but we can implement strategies to help us be effective presenters.

  1. Firstly, be fully aware of which product/service you want to focus on. Be specific, because that will be more memorable than a generic value statement.
  2. Avoid the urge to wing it. Being prepared helps you get over your nerves. Every week it’s an opportunity to train our referral partners in the room to look out for specific business for you. By not being prepared you miss that opportunity.
  3. Find a way to make your topic understandable and memorable. Humour, using simple language and story-telling are effective ways of getting your point across simply and allows your referral request to stick in the minds of your audience. Avoid getting into the mechanics of what you do and instead focus on how you helped someone. Remember, FACTS TELL AND STORIES SELL.
  4. Once you have your elevator pitch prepared it’s time to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. A one-minute presentation has about 150 words. But you won’t know that unless you practice. Being prepared will calm any potential nerves you might have and help you become a more effective presenter.
  5. Finish your elevator pitch by asking for a specific referral – by being specific you give yourself the best chance of someone in the group being able to connect you with that type of business or that individual.

So, yes, business is not easy. But at the very least if we learn to deliver effective elevator pitches we give ourselves the chance of getting quality referrals from our network that can help our businesses grow. Wishing you all another successful week in each of your businesses.