Asking for Referrals: A Key to Multiplying Your Contacts

By on July 1, 2007   /   2 Comments

Olga was a 24 year old Campus Crusade staff girl I met during the year our family spent in Ukraine reaching out to college students. She was later assigned to come to America and raise $2700 in new monthly support that would cover her needs and two other national staff. She knew no one here and had only a 21 day visa. So, a Crusade staffer here made a deal with Olga. He would give her 40 “referrals” to start her support raising activities with if she would give him 40 new ones on her way out of the country.

And that’s exactly what happened. Olga was so motivated that she raised the entire $2700 in new monthly support using only referrals (and referrals of referrals, etc…!) and gave that Crusade staff guy 40 new ones before her trip home. She was a woman with a mission!

Asking for referrals. For some it will be unnecessary because you have hundreds of people at different stages of your life who you can go back to and invite them to join your team. But some will have to pursue a strategy of asking for referrals to get to 100% support. If so, here are some thoughts:

1. Expand your thinking first
    Come on now. Have you really worked hard at namestorming every person you have ever known (or even met!) in your lifetime and put them down on your list? Refer to the June ’07 SRS newsletter for how to go back and ask people you haven’t seen—in 40 years!
2. Have a sense of urgency
    Like Olga, are you willing to go anywhere and talk to anyone about your ministry and coming on your support team? Some are too proud—or too lazy—to do whatever it takes to get to their ministry assignment quickly—and fully funded.
3. Prepare and practice
    Don’t shoot from the hip when asking for referrals. Craft a script and role play it with friends. Get feedback and practice again. Make the first ten appointments with people who will be favorable toward your requests.
4. Ask every person for referrals
    Invite every person you meet with to join your regular support team. After they have made their decision (yes or no) tell them there’s one more way they can help—to suggest friends of theirs you might meet with who also care about reaching out for Christ. If they resist, then back away and don’t press it.
5. Help them think of names
    It may be they’re not resisting, they just need their memory jogged a bit! If possible, do a little advance homework. If they are part of a church, small group, or club you might mention these one at a time to see if names come to their mind. If they give you names, ask if they have phone numbers and addresses handy.
6. Be positive and thankful

     Expect to get a good response. Believe in God (and yourself!) that you and your ministry are worth significant investment. Be thankful to the Lord and to each person who trusts you enough to give referrals to you. Treat each one with great care!


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