‘Where is your credibility?’ is one of the core questions I ask when I am helping people to generate more referrals from networking. If you do not have enough credibility then you are unlikely to get people giving you good quality referrals even if they know like and trust you.
I was working with a new client this morning who was struggling to sell a course into large corporates. The course sounded very interesting and he had obviously put a lot of time and effort into the marketing of the course but was receiving little interest directly and little help from his network. I asked who he had previously run it for and what results he had achieved. It turned out that this was a brand new course that had never been run before and the proposed trainer had never run an in company workshop before. He had never personally worked in the sector he was targeting and the pricing was around double what his competitors would be charging to tackle the same problem. In sales terms he had zero credibility and it was not surprising that he was getting little traction.
We began to work on a programme of building credibility which included looking at being frank with his network and getting help to run some trial courses. We also looked at potential alliances who would recognise the value of what they were proposing and may be interested in running the workshop for their corporate clients.
It all goes back to having empathy with your prospects and networking colleagues. If you are having difficulty getting referrals then put yourself in their shoes and often the answer becomes a lot clearer. If credibility is an issue then its not the end of the line. You just need to work on building it.