Your friends and family can be an incredible source of referrals… as long as they know just what it is that you do.

This week we asked: What percentage of your friends and family truly know what you do?

1. Less than 25% – 35%

2. 25-50% – 40%

3. 51-75% – 17%

4. 76-100% – 8%

My Thoughts: What a wake-up call! Only 25% of you say more than 51% of your friends and family can clearly articulate what you do, why you’re good at it and what type of business you’re looking for. Not good. If they can’t pass on your points of differentiation, they can’t help you bring in business. And they certainly can’t bring in the kind of business you really want.

Here’s my advice… Make sure those closest to you really understand your marketing and business development needs. Take the time to explain the kinds of business you’re looking for and why you’re a match for it. Chances are they’ll be more than interested to hear and will go out of their way to think of people they can introduce you to. You’ll be surprised how many of them have connections you never knew existed…and they’ll be thrilled to help out.

Marrero Bozorgi’s Susan Bozorgi has a similar outlook:

Realize that your friends are the cornerstone to your marketing plan; ask for their help and resources. Maintaining friendships is one of the most important things you can do to grow your business.”

Black Pearl: Uncomfortable approaching friends or clients for referrals? Here’s a good piece by Donna Erickson of Erickson Marketing on Missed Opportunities. Enjoy!