ADVICE

What makes referrals happen? Your actions

Posted 11/19/12

I’m angry about the misinformation offered by “experts” about referrals.

I’m not angry that the majority of their information is totally off base and bogus, I’m angry you might believe it, take it to heart, try it, fail miserably and lose both relationships and customers.

My anger centers around the word ASK. Some idiot, er, I mean expert, said you MUST ask in order to receive your fair share. He driveled on to state there’s a “Rule of 20-60-20.” He claims that 20 percent of your customers will always give you a referral, 60 percent will give you a referral only if you ask them, and 20 percent will never give you one.

Where on earth did that rule come from?

Pareto (the creator of the 1906 80-20 Principle that was later redefined by Joseph Moses Juran in 1941) is turning over in his grave at people who make up statistics with ZERO basis in fact.

Your boss will tell you, “As soon as you make a sale, ask for a referral.”

REALITY: There is no worse time to ask.

Or your boss will remind you, “Don’t forget to ask for referrals.”

This is just as ridiculous.

If you’re determined to ask, you better know WHEN to ask. Too early and you’re dead. At least let the relationship blossom. At least let your product or service begin to evolve into a favorable outcome.

General rules of asking for a referral: If it feels awkward, don’t ask. If you don’t have a solid relationship, don’t ask. If you ask for a referral and don’t get one, don’t ask again.

My rule of ask: Don’t ask. Earn.

There are 5.5 major consequences of asking for a referral:

1. You create unnecessary tension in your relationship.

2. You may not have done anything to earn one yet.

3. You put your customer in an awkward position.

4. If you don’t get one, consider it a report card, not a lack of response.

5. If you follow up with an email or a phone call “reminding” your customer you haven’t received the referral you asked for, it could destroy the relationship.

5.5 If you call and ask, and they don’t give you one, and you call and ask AGAIN, it’s likely they’ll never take your call again.

INSIGHT: Way before referrals occur, you’d better understand what makes referrals happen. Your actions make referrals possible – or not.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Join PBN and two panels of successful female executives, business owners and entrepreneurs as we delve into what women should do to advance their careers, and become leaders in the corporate world and their own enterprises.
  • Book of Lists Party
    Save the date - January 15, 2015 for PBN's Book of Lists Party at the Providence ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement