Simply forget 'what's in it for me?'
When I speak to many organisations about their existing referral strategies, many of them complain that they are giving referrals to Partners but receiving nothing back. Others question whether they should pass referrals in one direction as that company many not be able to reciprocate.
Elizabeth Asquith Bibesco famously said "“Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.” One of the key principles of successful networking and, I believe, of a successful career or business, is the ability to offer support where you can without thinking about what's in it for you.
The more you are able to 'pay it forward', the stronger a reputation you will build as a connector and a supporter of others. And as you develop that reputation, people want to do things for you and help you in return. It works, that is precisely how I have built my business.
I have a simply approach, if it's easy for me to do something for you and that something makes a positive difference to you, I will be happy to do so. What's more, I will enjoy doing so.
And funnily enough, good things seem to happen to me in return. It just may not come directly back from you.
This video puts a similar thought very well: