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A Conversation with Don Wilson - Maximizing Your Network for Yourself and Others

Photo by LoveTheWind/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by LoveTheWind/iStock / Getty Images

Radical Solutions’ business is built on the outstanding partnerships we have with both agent partners and referral partners. We rely on those partners to keep us top of mind when it comes to controlling and managing energy costs. We also understand that our partners may also provide other services. To help our network improve their game, we went and found one of the best in the business to help us grow.

We had an awesome conversation with Don Wilson of Prospecting Intel around how to help our partners maximize their network. Don is a renowned speaker and sales trainer focusing on how to maximize your network for yourself and others through referrals. He has partnered with countless chambers of commerce, networking groups, and corporations to help people get the most out of their network by helping professionals “choose a new constant” with regards to how they maximize their network.

Anyone looking to do less cold calling and more referring will definitely get a few tips and best practices to help them change their mindset and habits to drive more business through referrals. We broke it down into four topics, make sure you follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to keep up to date.

Part 1 - Changing Your Mindset

Many of us that have a sales background are used to hamming the phones or sending hundreds of emails to prospects hoping to get that intro call booked. To cold call with success and with dedication takes a certain mindset. The same holds true with effectively maximizing your network through referrals. It is two completely different approaches to achieving the same goal of making a sale, or building a relationship. So how can we shift our mindset? According to Don, its about understanding your ‘wooby’ or what your security blanket is, understanding its there, and make it real. Also, he says the most important thing you can do to keep your mindset positive and understand WHY. Why do you do what you do, who are you doing it for? Understand the why, and activity will follow.

Part 2 - Leading the Conversation

Opportunities to refer, or be referred, can come from scheduled meetings, or impromptu conversations with people in our out of your network. Setting a loose agenda, and starting out with some genuine rapport building is the foundation to building trust with your network. Referrals are built on trust, Don nailed it when he said “Hey I need to like you to refer you.” Same holds true when you uncover a challenge or goal of someone in your network that you could help by making a referral of your own. Check out part two of the video series to learn the two most important questions to ask when building trust.

Part 3 - Managing Expectations

As professionals we always want to receive value. It’s important to understand the expectations of both the businesses your sending referrals to, and the people in your network sending referrals to you. In Part 3, Don breaks down for us the difference between a lead and a referral. Leads are a dime a dozen, its important to understand how to ensure that lead is turned into a referral. Finally, take stock of your network. Who are your A, B, or C partners? How much time do you devote to each? Why you should always stay in contact, even with the Cs.

Part 4 - Finishing the Referral

“Hey Call Steve” is not a referral, in fact it’s barely a lead! Now that you’ve put yourself in position to be a trusted partner and connect two people in your network, make sure you do these four things. Get permission to make the connection, take advantage of the urgency, identify a next step, and most importantly - FOLLOW UP!


Richard Day