Moving to CoWorking is ultimately an investment. You’re investing in higher productivity; a better working environment and flowing inspiration. But you’re also investing in new leads - your new network shouldn’t just be there for beers and peer learning, but for referrals and gaining new business. These five simple tips will increase the likelihood of your coworkers referring you business - because why shouldn’t your office be a source of leads and revenue?
If you want people to refer you business, they’ll need to know your name. But you’ll need more than that. You need to be the first person they think of when their friend is looking for a web programmer or their sister-in-law is looking for a law firm. Brief introductions with your name and job isn’t enough - you need a deeper connection.
Once you’ve connected on social sites, you’ll be able to see birthdays. But don’t just press the button that sends a generic LinkedIn message - use this insider information to make people feel special. You could start a round of applause as they walk through the door in the morning; leave a card (or chocolate) on their desk or tape a balloon to their screen. A small gesture like these reinforces subconscious positive associations. (They’ll associate the good feeling they get with you and in future feel an echo of that feeling when they’re around you, so overall will enjoy working with you more).
It may seem obvious, but you need to give other people business if you want to get business in return. Imagine for every referral someone receives, they’ll give another 3 that week. If you started off the chain by giving 3 referrals, within 5 weeks there will have been 749 referrals - that’s almost enough for 2 per member at OneCoWork Plaça Catalunya. By working to help others, we can build a culture of business referrals. But it’s not just about paying it forward - when you give someone a referral, they’re more likely to actively strive to give one back to you personally.
A great way to do this is to save your coworkers’ mobile numbers in your contacts. That way, when a client, friend or family member of yours needs, you can simply forward it to them. Don’t forget to include their Job Title and/or Company Name in the contact so you can find it easily!
As well as giving referrals, giving help - whether business related or not - is another great way to build the meaningful relationships that lead to high-value referrals. This is because it’s far more genuine. Someone struggling to carry their laptop, coffees, bag and delivery package up the stairs? Give them a hand! Coworker sitting opposite you needs to reach a plug? Don’t expect a medal for it, but start to build up a personality of a helpful, go-to guy/girl. It can be something as simple as an extra hand, something more complex such as excel support or something business related, like answering a question related to your industry.
Connect Beyond the Office
There are so many ways to connect digitally nowadays - use them to enhance your OneCoWork experience. First up is of course LinkedIn - add your coworkers to your network. LinkedIn’s mobile app even offers a feature using bluetooth to connect to people around you - so pop it on during our events and add people with ease!
If you’ve got business accounts on other social media platforms - such as facebook, instagram, twitter and snapchat - like and follow each other. Leaving recommendations (the new reviews) on facebook as well as google reviews helps increase visibility and perceived trustworthiness, whilst only taking a couple of minutes.
A Referral Circle is a group of business people from different industries who actively seek business opportunities to refer to each other. Members get to know everyone in the small group and retain plenty of their business cards. So when Jonny the accountant’s client Amy mentions she also needs a landscape gardener, Jonny can pass on the business to Larry. When Larry is landscaping Amy’s garden and Amy’s husband Sam mentions he needs a graphic designer, Larry pulls out Natasha’s business card.
The most famous Referral Circle is BNI - an international group which meets in chapters once a week, with strict rules and costs up to 1000 euros a year, depending on the chapter.
But you can create your own, using the network at your CoWorking space. It can be formal, with someone designated to keep track of the referrals and total value passed around, or informal - you meet once to ensure everyone has all the business cards and off you go! At OneCoWork, we can help you enrich your Referral Circle. If you’re looking for a specialist in a specific industry, our Community Managers can make introductions. You can also book our variety of meeting rooms and event spaces for meetups.
You’ve got to give, to get! Help your CoWorkers by giving business, to build a culture of referrals in the office - our OneCoWork Community Managers are always happy to help by connecting you with different specialists across our sites. Positive associations are key: be genuine, helpful and kind. Finally, remember you can always take coworking digital, using the wide variety of social and professional network platforms online.
Dror Wayne joined the OneCoWork team in June 2018. Originally from London, his areas include Sales and Marketing but loves getting involved with our community and events! You can connect with Dror here.
OneCoWork Plaça Catalunya is now open! To book your tour and become a part of a CoWorking community you can gain business through, click here.