Saturday, August 26, 2006

Never Keep Score in Your Referral Network

Last week I had the pleasure of introducing two (business) people to each other. They hit it off immediately and it looks like they will be able to push a lot of business and opportunities back and forth. Talking with one them later she commented, "I definitely owe you now." I said that I've never kept score and never would. What goes around comes around.

I've worked with people that are definitely keeping score. They purposely withhold referrals until they get something in return and know the numbers in their “referral ledger” at all times. Ooof! What a terrible way to make and keep business friends.

Try not think of passing along opportunities as a down payment or special favor. Think of it instead as an investment. Over time investments will either produce a return, or in some cases none at all. I have on a couple of occasions stopped sharing; no need to keep watering the dirt if grass just refuses to grow. But most of the time I’ve been rewarded with wonderfully productive friendships, great referrals, and solid business opportunity.

So my advice: Don’t keep score. Just keep good friends. The good things you give out will come back tenfold.
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