If referrals are a key part of our clients marketing strategy, then we ask them to focus on their key business influencers. These are not contacts in their network that are 'nice to know', but people who are 'advocates' of their business and are willing to influence the success of the business with referrals or recommendations.
Many clients have a long list of contacts in their network, usually with the hope of obtaining a referral, so one activity we recommend is to rate your contacts from 1 to 5, with the following scale:
1 - Nice to know and have in my network, but unlikely to refer in next 12 months
2 - Nice to know and possibly could refer in the next 12 months
3 - Good to know and may refer
4 - Great to know and is likely to refer with personal attention
5 - A 'KBI' who currently refers business.
If you can't score them, as not even nice to know, then remove them from you network! This simple exercise gives you focus for your limited resources. Diarise time to speak to and meet with your contacts rated 4 and 5.
It should also be your objective to move your contacts up the scale from 'nice to know' to 'referrer'. How you do this will be different for each individual, but a personal touch, knowing what is important to them and the application of focus will move your contacts closer to the desired 'KBI' status.