Do you struggle with generating referral leads via your network? Or is your problem that you get the wrong type of leads via referrals from your network? 

Generating referral leads via your network is more science than luck

On a group for female professional speakers that I moderate, the group members were asked to introduce themselves in a ‘snappy way’ by limiting themselves to 3 things. Most of the group members failed to do this. It was a classic case of needing to have a sound bite. This was a light bulb moment for me, and explains why so many of us fail to truly be memorable to the members of our network. In this blog post, I explain what the problems are and how you can truly stand out in your network for the right reasons.

Your sound bite

The Go-To ExpertIn chapter 4 of The Go-To Expert, we talk about the concept of a personal marketing tool kit. (A vital ingredient for generating referral leads) A key component of your personal marketing tool is your sound bite. This is a short, snappy – under 15 word – sentence that tells people who you work with and the value you help them achieve. You may have heard people talk about this as a positioning statement.

When I ran a referral generation workshop with a group of lawyers last week, I asked them to construct their own sound bite in under 15 words. Most of them struggled to do this in a succinct way. It’s not just lawyers who struggle to do this. Even people who communicate professionally for a living struggle to do this.

After my experience with people introducing themselves on the Facebook group I moderate, I started a new post and asked people to share their sound bite, and be clear on the audience they speak to and the value they bring. Of the brave members who did share their sound bite, over 80% could not do it. And, these were the ones who claimed they could! These were where they normally failed:

  • It was not under 15 words, so lost impact and became harder to remember
  • It didn’t state the value they brought to the audience
  • They talked about how they did it rather than the value they brought to their audience

Need more referrals? Then download our free short guide (email required) with over 50 tried and tested tips to generate more referrals. 

Why under 15 words?

By forcing yourself to write your sound bite in under 15 words, it causes you to become super clear about who you serve and the value you bring. Of course if you serve different audiences, there is nothing stopping you having a few different versions of your sound bite depending on who you meet.

For example, these were the examples of my sound bite when I think about what I do as a professional speaker:
1) I inspire owners of small accountancy firms to grow a profitable practice
2) I help professionals in practice make partner
3) I help professionals become the go-to expert

Once you’ve got it to under 15 words, now try and do it in under 10. As a general rule of thumb, the shorter, the more powerful and memorable you will be.

What’s the benefit of constructing a short and snappy sound bite?

generating referral leadsFirstly, it can give you real clarity about the who is your audience and the value you bring to them. This can be enormously valuable when you are evaluating whether to take on projects or start a marketing campaign. I.e. is this ‘on brand’ for me or not?

Secondly, the shorter your statement, the more powerful and impact-ful it becomes. It also helps other easily recall what you do and who you do it for.

Given that when we network we will probably be networking with other professionals who do similar things, having a sound bite will help you stand out, be memorable, and ultimately referred.

Read more articles about how to market yourself:

Why you need to be a brand to progress your career

Essential contents of your personal marketing kit

How to help others remember your name

And download your free career kitbag – it contains scores of templates, tools, and tips to help you promote your career in the professions.

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