On the 1st of April 2015 I started learning French for the first time since school some 30 years ago.
I attended The Vici Language Academy in Newbury Berkshire. On my first day I met John. John was a former Royal Engineer and was planning to move to the south of France at some stage in the next 3 years. John said to me “it is my dream to go and live in France but I would not do so without learning the language as that would be rude”. I asked John how much French he knew and he said “well pretty much zero but I have 3 years to learn and that is what I intend to do”.
Business networking and referral marketing is pretty much the same. If you want to profit from referrals then you need to invest in learning the language and you need to commit the correct amount of time to this. In the case of learning French 3 years is about right if you study part time. In the case of referrals it can take at least 3 years before your efforts see massive results but also it could be done much quicker.
The speed in which you learn the language of referral will depend on how much time and effort you put into to attending events and training on the specific skills needed. I recommend that you commit to at least 3 regular networks with at least one of these being weekly. That way you will soon be fluent in the language of referral and be achieving massive results.
Julian Lewis is an Executive Director with Business Networking International (BNI). He has over 10 years of practical experience in referral marketing and business networking for profit and pleasure. He regularly talks to audiences internationally about the power of referral networking. He is also a professional MC helping delegates get the most out of conferences and audiences enjoy awards ceremonies.