You Want Referrals: One Small Change
You're a professional. The lifeblood of your business is referrals, and you know it.
Referrals are the least costly, most effective way to grow your business.
Most professionals, though, don't do anything to actually generate referrals. They "sit around" and expect word of mouth and customer referrals to magically appear. Every single vocation is plagued by this: professionals are getting far fewer referrals than they expect.
And when they finally muster up the courage to pull on their "grown up underwear" and admit that their referrals are seriously lacking, their frustration naturally bubbles to the surface: "Does this mean I'm not good enough? What can I do to get more referrals?"
If this strikes a chord in you, don't lose heart. There's something very specific you can do to turn this around.
You may be perfectly capable in your profession, but lacking skill in one area that virtually all professionals pay almost no attention to: how you are influencing others.
You ARE influencing the people around you -- your prospective and current clients, and other referring professionals. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, for good or for ill, you are influencing them. The only way to escape this is to stop relating to anyone, and that's obviously not an option.
So you may as well manage how you influence others so that your influence results in more referrals for you.
How Can You Do That?
First, you start with the realization that all your interactions build an impression of you and who you are as a person. Who people sense you to be and what your commitments and motivations are affect the quality of the "trust-bond" that develops between you.
So, How Do You Create that Quality Trust-Bond?
You show up in all your relationship interactions with the commitment to learn what the other person needs in order to advance in their goals.
You ask questions, and listen deeply for what they need. And if you can genuinely help them achieve that, make the offer. Try to offer, in the attitude of a helpful servant to their achievement, something of value right there in the conversation, for free.
When you do that, who you are and what you have to offer is indirectly brought out. Your prospective clients and referrers actually seek to know you and what you offer, because they're glad to have found a really helpful resource.
Now, there is a very important distinction to be made here: Your goal is to generate referrals. That is what is spurring you to choose to show up differently in your interactions. But once you have decided that, you need to put that goal in the back of your mind. Because if you have that as your primary motivation in your questions, people can sense it a mile away and they don't trust you. They can feel at some "energetic level" that you are primarily self-interested, and not out first to seek their advancement.
Instead, once you have decided that you need to show up differently, you put on a mindset and stand in the commitment to genuinely seek the good of the other person, whether it brings you immediate reward or not.
People can sense that commitment to their good; when they do, they respond to you viscerally with trust and glad relief or excitement. When they've found a treasure of real help, they can't help but tell others about it -- and in this case, the treasure is you and your service.
So there you have it! The one small change you can make to generate more referrals is how you show up in your interactions with others. This is what you do:
1. Genuinely care about the other person's success.
So, Ask Yourself. . . .
So, if your referrals are dismal, the first thing to ask yourself is whether you providing real progress to others and their lives. That foundation is the absolute necessity. Most professionals are able to do this to an acceptable level, because that is what they have trained to do -- offer some professional value to clients.
But that's not enough. The second thing to ask yourself is how you show up to people in your interactions with them. Do you show up with a commitment to help people progress based on their needs, NOT your own? Because when you do, they can't help but open their mouths and tell others about you.
Generating consistent referral flow, or a referral system from that process, takes time. It is a relationship formed on the promise of making progress together -- sometime in the future. That takes patience, and faith -- faith that putting others first will eventually reap you abundant rewards.
But there are definitely things you can do to speed up that process. We've just scratched the surface of where you can start in your quest to build your business to the point where you are flooded with referrals, have your pick of clients, and charge all that you are worth.
What to Do Next
Referrals are the least costly (financially) and most effective marketing method you can employ. If you want to learn how to generate referrals from one of the best, check out Maximum Referrals by Daryl Logullo.
He's a professional, like you are. He helps other professionals get a flood of referrals for their businesses. He will definitely help you get the word out about the professional value you offer to help people advance in their own goals.
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