Just like casting for fish, the process of meeting people, staying in touch, and then asking for their business is something that requires patience and practice.
A few years ago, a long-standing member of a business networking organization was talking about canceling his membership--not because he wasn't getting enough referrals, but because his referrals were coincidental.
Despite a full year of getting great referrals, Mike (names have been changed to protect the foolhardy) didn't feel the results proved that networking was a viable business strategy for getting more referrals.
Even though Mike's misguided reasoning led him down the wrong road, it raises a good question, and understanding the answer could help your business.
Mike's situation boiled down to two things--repeatability and understanding.
If you're thinking, "For every referral I give, I can expect one in return," it's time to put that idea to rest.