Networking Meetings - Refer, Refer and Be Referred - The Referral Matrix

Carol Bentley

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Your network is growing. You know lots of different business people and you are getting to know what they can deliver. And, of course, they are getting to know you and what you offer.

But does everyone know EVERYTHING about you? And do you know ALL there is to know about your contacts?

You need to know all this if you are going to seize every opportunity to build even stronger business relationships…

Create Your Referral Matrix

The simplest way to keep an eye on what is developing is to create a Referral Matrix. The concept is very simple. The Referral Matrix gives you an ‘At-a-Glance’ picture of your business relationships progress.

You'll do this for your own contacts and services/products and another for your contacts products.

Let's start with your services and products.

1) Take a piece of paper.

2) Draw a grid shape. You need enough columns going across to list all your products and services in the top row; show one in each.

3) In the first column of the rows going down list your contacts.

4) Choose 3 different, strong, colors. One represents ‘Told', another for ‘Sold’ and the third for ‘Referred'

5) When you tell a contact about one of your products; have supplied information so you know he/she is fully aware of it, mark the color for ‘Told’ against that company in the column for your product/service. (I usually fill in a third of the box).

6) When a contact has bought a product/service from you add the ‘Sold’ color – you now have two thirds of the box completed.

7) When a contact recommends you to someone else, ‘refers you', fill in the ‘Referred’ color.

Some of the boxes may have the Told and Referred, but not the Sold color.

Now you can see, at a glance, which of your contacts do not know about some of your products (in which case you can inform them) and, just as importantly, if they have been informed whether they have bought from you or referred you to someone else.

Create a similar chart for each of your ‘Hot’ networking contacts – those you have a close working relationship with.

By doing this you take a pro-active stance to recommending their services to other people you know AND you'll know if they do something that you may need in the future.

Do this and you are building strong relationships.

What's more you'll get a good reputation for being the ‘person who knows’ and your networking circle will grow.

(This works really well on a spreadsheet, such as Excel. If you would like to see what the grid looks like, send an email to excel-matrix[at], and request the Referral Matrix PDF).

©2005 Original Work by Carol Bentley

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Carol is the author of ‘I Want to Buy Your Product. . . Have You Sent Me a Letter Yet? (How to create powerful sales letters, advertisements, flyers, brochures, web pages and newsletters that persuade hundreds, or even thousands, of additional customers and clients to buy from you!) by Carol A E Bentley (Rated 5-star on This book is available at a special offer at

Carol is one of the highest paid direct response copywriters available. If you would like to talk to Carol's office about having her work on your current or next sales project you can use the contact form on her website


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