Every year for the last 5 years I have set a goal to walk the Indianapolis Mini Marathon. Every year that goal went unmet. This year, it is no longer an unaccomplished goal. Saturday May 8th I walked the 13.1 miles in the largest mini marathon, with 37,000 other people.
What made this year different than the other 4 years. Simple really, I implemented the same 5 strategies that I tell my Referrals for Life students to implement when building their referral system.
1. Support – I found a group of other people who wanted to achieve the same goal that I did. Having a team of people to support you and cheer you on makes a big difference in your energy, you motivation and your desire to achieve. When you are building your business by referral, you need a strong network that will support you in your endeavors. You cannot build a network of people who will refer you all alone, it is a person to person activity.
2. Education – I learned more about participating in a marathon. I learned about shoes and why they are important, how to eat right, what kind of clothing to wear in the different kinds of weather. As business owners it is important that we always seek out more education, allowing us to stay sharp and be able to grow our businesses and ourselves. No one is born knowing how to network or how to build a strong network. Get educated, learn the art of networking and the science of referrals. The more education you get the more successful you are. Learn more to earn more.
3. Accountability – Having a system of accountability was key to my training. When you add accountability to your learning you accomplish so much more. Accountability breeds success. If you and your network are not accountable to each other you will soon lose momentum. Hold each other accountable for greater results.
4. Training – Consistent use of the educational material breeds huge amounts of success. The training allows you to practice what you have learned until you are good at it. Having the ability to practice over and over again allows you to develop the networking and referral muscles. You do not want to practice on your referral or prospects.
5. Coaching – Above all else this is the one thing that set this year apart from all other years. Having a coach to guide, educate, support, and implement accountability made the biggest difference in may ability to complete the Mini Marathon. Having him tell me when my gait was wrong or if my tempo was off was invaluable and made the difference in my wanting to do the marathon and completing the marathon. Education without coaching is entertainment. Your Coach can tell you what you are doing wrong, how to do something differently or more effectively. If you are trying to build a business by referral you need to find yourself a qualified referral trainer – coach. You will be surprised by your results.
Creating a system that generates referrals for your business is like training for a marathon, it is simple, but it is not easy!