Rather than proactively asking for referrals, many professionals hope and wait for referrals to come their way. We call this “sitting in the referral waiting room,” where the wait can be forever. If you’re playing the waiting game, it’s time to choose another game.

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Referrals aren’t just for business. The best referral I ever got led me to my soul mate. If I hadn’t asked for the introduction, my life would be completely different. The moral is: ask!

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Here’s part 3 of our series on ineffective ways to ask for referrals. You can also view the previous parts: part 1,   part 2.

image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dannyboyster/60371673/

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Here’s part 2 of our multi-part series on ineffective ways to ask for referrals. To see part 1, click here.

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As we’ve said repeatedly, referral marketing is the best way to gain new clients or customers, and if you want more referrals, you have to ask.  Unfortunately, some of the ways people commonly ask just aren’t that effective. In this video (#1 in a multi-part series), we show you how NOT to ask.

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You provide great products or services. Your clients or customers love you. Surely they’ll spread the word. Think again…

Do you ever wonder why more new clients or customers aren’t beating a path to your door?

When it comes to referral marketing, many professionals and companies take a passive approach. They assume that the business will grow organically—that referrals will be a natural result of providing good services or products. We call this “the organic approach.”

Sure, you may experience some organic growth due to word of mouth. But that growth will be limited. There are two BIG PROBLEMS with the organic approach:

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Lead Generation: Cold Calling – Do You Have a Choice?

On December 9, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Phil Glosserman

Most people hate cold calling. That goes for the people making the calls and those receiving them. When it comes to lead generation, is cold calling absolutely necessary? (This is the second part of our video series on cold calling. You can see part 1 here.)

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In planning your lead generation activities, it’s essential to know your odds. How does cold calling stack up against warm lead generation? (This is the first part of our video series on cold calling. You can see part 2 here.)

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Most referral marketing advice we’ve seen focuses on activities that build your personal brand and your connections—for example: writing newsletters, lunches, golf dates, handing out business cards, sending out articles or handwritten notes, etc.

We call these kinds of activities professional presencing, because they are designed to establish your presence in the minds of other professionals who might be able to refer you business someday.

Professional presencing is a good thing. We encourage you to do it, BUT…

Professional presencing is no substitute for asking for referrals.

How come?

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Most referral marketing advice we’ve seen focuses on activities that build your personal brand and your connections—for example: writing newsletters, lunches, golf dates, sending out articles or handwritten notes, etc.  Do these activities REALLY lead to referrals?

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Referral Marketing – Why do People Refer You?

On December 1, 2010, in referral marketing, by Phil Glosserman

Why do you suppose someone would be motivated to refer you?

Would it be to help you? Possibly. But that’s not all there is to it.

Normally, people are motivated to do something because they get something out of it. So what do people get out of referring you? Why would they do it?

People get 3 things out of making referrals.

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Here’s part 2 of our video series on why people refer you. When you do referral marketing, it’s crucial that you understand what people get out of referring you (it’s probably not what you think). Check out the video below. (You can see part 1 of this series here.)

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When doing referral marketing activities, it’s essential that you understand WHY people refer you. This is an important subject; we’ve divided it into two videos. Check out part 1 below:

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Be Grateful for Your Relationships

On November 24, 2010, in The Value of Your Releationships, by Phil Glosserman

“The most valuable thing in this life is our relationships. Sometimes, in the face of problems or in our obsession to make money, we lose sight of that. Be grateful for your relationships, nurture them, and make new ones. Just about everything of value that people create in this world somehow springs from their connections with others. Your potential for creating and receiving value is infinite, and it all starts and ends with relationships. I urge you all to reach out and connect with your relationships and connect them to each other.”

From The Referral Code by Larry Pinci & Phil Glosserman

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Imagine that there’s a treasure chest filled with gold buried in your own backyard. But for some reason, you don’t bother to dig for it. Maybe you didn’t know it was there. Or maybe you didn’t know exactly where or how to dig for it. Maybe you just hope that someday the treasure chest will pop out of the ground on its own.

You DO have a treasure chest of gold in your own backyard. It’s filled with one of the most valuable resources you can possibly imagine: your relationships. Your relationships can connect you with a wealth of future business, but to unlock these riches, you have to dig.

Most professionals treat potential referral business like the hypothetical treasure chest buried in their backyard:

  • Many don’t realize the treasure (the opportunity for a wealth of referral business) exists.
  • Some have an inkling that the opportunities are there, but they’re afraid to go after them (by asking for referrals), because they worry about what others will think.
  • Some don’t pursue the opportunities, because they don’t know how.
  • Others hope the referrals will just come their way without having to dig.

In another blog post, we cited the example of one of our clients who had never asked her customers for referral because she believed it was somehow improper to do so. Once we helped open her eyes to the opportunities she was missing, she asked her client of 14 years for referrals and got two on the spot. She told us she couldn’t believe she had waited so long and wondered how much business she had missed out on because she had not pursued referrals with any of her customers.

The bottom line is this: Your relationships can and will refer you, but you have to ask. If you are not asking for referrals, you are missing out on business that could be yours for the asking.

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Far too many professionals are missing out on their best opportunity for new business, because they don’t understand how referral marketing REALLY works. Check out the video below:

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As we said in an earlier blog post, there are 3 fears that hold people back from asking for, and receiving, referrals: the fear of being seen as pushy, the fear of being seen as needy, and the fear of being rejected. We call them “The 3 Ugly Sisters.” Today’s post is about the fear of rejection.

Every day, the fear of rejection stops professionals from applying the most effective form of lead generation: referral marketing. To find more about the fear of rejection and how to get beyond it, watch the video below.

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If you’ve seen our other blog posts on referral marketing, you’ve heard us hammer two points over and over: 1) referrals are the most effective lead generation activity, and 2)  if you want more referral business, you have to ask for it.

Most people simply don’t ask for referrals. If you do ask for referrals, we salute you for your efforts. You are among the few that actually ask.

In our experience, those that do ask, do it in a way that doesn’t produce many referrals. We call it the if-then request. It goes something like this:

“Tom, if you run into anyone who could use my services (or products), then please let me know or have them call me.”

Usually, Tom will respond, “Sure, I’ll be glad to,” or “I can’t think of anyone right now, but I’ll keep you in mind.”

The person who did the asking usually feels really good that he made an effort and that he got an “encouraging” response from Tom. So why do we say that this request for referrals is ineffective?

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The fear of rejection is a huge opportunity killer. Every day, this irrational fear stops professionals from using the most effective form of lead generation: referral marketing. It’s time to take this silent killer to the mat.

As we said in an earlier blog post, there are 3 fears that hold people back from asking for, and receiving, referrals: the fear of being seen as pushy, the fear of being seen as needy, and the fear of being rejected. We call them “The 3 Ugly Sisters.”

Ugly Sister # 3 is the fear of rejection. This fear is bad news, because many professionals are so afraid of having their egos bruised that they stop themselves from asking for business or referrals.

Here’s the good news: The whole internal story about rejection is just that: a made-up story. And because it’s a made-up story, you can change it.

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As we said in an earlier blog post, there are 3 fears that hold people back from asking for, and receiving, referrals: the fear of being seen as pushy, the fear of being seen as needy, and the fear of being rejected. We call them “The 3 Ugly Sisters.” Check out our video below on Ugly Sister #2, the fear of being seen as needy.

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