We've surveyed over 1000 professionals and asked , "What's your #1 barrier to getting more referrals?" and the top three responses are...
- “I’m uncomfortable asking..." (totally understandable and I'll explain why this is, in a moment)
- “I do great work, my clients love me and compliment me all the time, but they rarely refer me..." (frustrating, isn't it)
- “I ask my clients for referrals, but it's hard to get them to follow through..." (it's as if they go into the witness protection program right after you ask, then you have to decide--should you keep bugging them?)
The problems are real, and totally understandable. The truth is that the way you've been taught to get referrals is fundamentally flawed.
It's a totally selfish process--all about getting more business for you.
Nothing wrong with getting new business, that's the end goal, but the old referral approach is a one-sided proposition.
Lots of benefit for you, little for your client or referral partner (actually it's almost all risk for them)...
And questionable value for the prospect being referred.
The root of the problem…
At the end of the day, the only way we measure the success of a referral is if you sell something to the referred prospect.
And in the old model of referrals, you have to go ask your client if they know anybody that needs what you do.
Then, they’ve got to think…and think…and think…to try and come up with a suitable prospect for you.
IF they do (and that’s a big if), then they have to go and sell their friend, colleague, family member, maybe even valued client, on meeting you.
And what do we call this meeting?
A sales meeting.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who wants to go to a sales meeting.
So your client, who wants to help you is in a tough spot.
You’re asking this person to do your prospecting for you, convince the potential client to agree to a sales meeting with you, and make the connection.
Most highly-paid and highly-trained sales people struggle to do this, and you expect your unpaid and untrained sales force (your clients) to be able to do this successfully…?
It’s not your fault, it’s a bad model.