Every once in a while a new way to look at an old topic hits a home run. This article is based on a great new book “Stop Asking for Referrals” by Stephen Wershing’s. A few quotes:
- “Asking for referrals totally disrespects the reasons that clients give us referrals; and it makes the referral process about you, rather than the client.”
- “Say you go out to a restaurant and you have a wonderful time. The next day a friend of yours asks, ‘Do you know of any good places to take my wife out to dinner? And you tell him about the restaurant.’
- “Now let’s rewind that and play it back. You go out to a restaurant; you have a wonderful time. As you’re getting ready to pay the check, the waiter comes to the table with pad and pencil and says ‘would you write down the names of three people you know who eat out periodically and their phone numbers?’ How are you going to feel about that?”
I wonder how many times we all have acted like the waiter in asking for referrals. Let me ask a question: Why do people refer? I believe that people refer because it makes them feel good when they know someone who has a need and they can recommend someone.
As far as our clients are concerned, we should be like the background music in an elevator; you can’t hear it unless you stop talking. In other words, we should service our clients and they will refer us when the situation presents itself.
Before you call me, a networking group is different. There, we identify the type of referral we want and ask the rest of the members to give us an introduction to someone who fits our target market.
Referrals come to us because we have defined ourselves as being special in an area of expertise. We understand the value that we bring to our clients. Our values and benefits again are aimed at a specific target market; we can’t be everything for everybody. This come back to building a personal brand for which you become know. This will allow you to “own a spot on the client’s brain”.
Referrals are the key to sustained growth. Examine your referral process and fine tune it to maximize its potential.
Whenever people take action, they do so for their reasons, not yours or mine. John Maxwell
Nick J. Petra CFP I help small businesses get their “duck in a row” www.strategicduck.com
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