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Referrals: The More You Give, the More You Get

Take the focus off <I>you</I> at networking events, and soon you'll be the talk of the town.

By James Maduk

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The fight-or-flight response in nature is well-documented. Butit's also easy to see this behavior manifested in the act ofselling, where there's such a high probability of ego damage.For homebased entrepreneurs with a personal and deeply emotionalbond to their product or service, it may be even tougher. Everytime you place an ad, send a proposal, fax a flyer, start adirect-marketing campaign, call a prospect-basically every time youopen your mouth, there's the possibility of ego damage.

When it comes to getting new business, then, it's hard notto take flight. I hate cold calls-in fact, I avoid them like theplague. Any possible reason for not making a call, I'll takeit. Of course, my ego remains healthy, but the success of mybusiness as a sales trainer suffers as a result. Don't get mewrong: I still love meeting people, sharing new ideas and learningabout other people's businesses. It just seems so much easierwhen I know I'm not trying to put food on a plate or clothes onmy two kids-you know, when I'm not selling!

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