Referral marketing can be easily compared to fishing or dating. Depending on what you're looking for - a large number of fish, a big fish, a lot of dates or that one date that lasts a lifetime, you use a net or an online dating website to gather as many fish or dates as you can.
When it comes to referrals and networking, luck is where targeting, research, patience and perseverance meets with opportunity. There are no coincidences about referrals and especially repeat referrals. Repeat referrals happen because you've laid the groundwork. They are the final outcome of the activities you have used to build long-lasting relationships.
The final results can be dramatic.
Let's just use nets to make it easy to understand. You think about casting the net to increase your chances of catching not only a large number of fish but possibly a few big fish. You target the area you'd like to throw the net in, to optimize your chances and in an area with that type of fish known to be in that area. You throw your net and bring it in and eagerly look for the number, the type and the size of your haul. The fisher(wo)man should not only concentrate on casting the net on one path for one fish but increase the chances of getting that one fish by gathering as many as possible and then using previously set criteria to determine what to keep and what to throw back.