In the Certified Networker course, one of the CDs we listen to is called Standing in the Middle of a Referral by BNI Director, Alice Ostower. This audio is packed with information of how to develop referrals for networking partners. The best suggestion that Alice makes is very near the end of the recording, when she shares, "When you have someone on the phone, you can say, 'Before I hang up, who can you recommend that does ___________?'"
By using this phrase, you are asking the person at the other end to help you to make better connections and you are letting them know that you consider them the authority in this matter. It also helps you to work on behalf of your networking partners at a higher level. So many times, a business acquaintance will ask for help, but if we can't immediately answer that request, we just let it go. Instead, attach a sticky note with the request written on it to the phone . That way, each person you talk to can receive the question. Before you know it you may have developed a referral for the person you had not been able to help in the past.
Starting January 4th, when my BNI chapter resumes meetings, I am going to use this technique each week, choosing just one person per week to try to develop more referrals.
What commitments are you going to make to your networking acquaintances?