You know what I hate? Well, I hate traffic, okra, and mango juice...
but I meant pertaining to the world of referrals of course.
What I hate is this: I am at a networking meeting, group, whatever, and I have clearly defined the type of referral I am looking for.
The person I am talking with knows EXACTLY what my business is and, we even have developed a pretty good business relationship.
My friend looks at me and says "I have a lead for you.
I know someone who is looking for someone to speak at their next event.
Just call 555-1212 and ask for Mike.
Just tell him I sent you.
that is not a referral.
Heck, it's barely a lead as far as I am concerned.
This person MEANS well, no question.
They might even give away 10-15 or more of these phone numbers per week, but all they are REALLY doing is wasting their, and the other person's time...
not to mention the person whose number they gave out.
Why, you ask? Good question.
The reason why is, a phone number does not a referral make.
First of all, we ALL think more highly of ourselves than pretty much anyone else does.
If I make a phone call to someone I do not know, and they are NOT specifically expecting my call, more often than not it will not result in business.
Now, I can have awesome phone skills, and just so happen to catch someone who is in dire need of my services and make a sale, but by and large, these types of situations are really not that productive.
The reasons why are simple.
Even if someone DOES have a need for your product or service, they want to be in control.
They don't want to be fielding calls from people whose main purpose is to close a deal.
Think about it.
When a telemarketer calls, what is your INITIAL reaction? You don't really care what they are offering, you are turned off because it is a meeting that you did not plan or ask for.
This is exactly what happens when you call that phone number that your friend gave you.
I can say "Joe told me to call...
" and that may warm up the conversation, but really, even if it was Donald Trump who told me to call, that person I am calling wants to feel important and wants to be respected...
I know people right now in my circle of influence, and even though they know what I do for a living, they insist that giving their name out is good enough to get business done.
The problem is, most of the folks that we know in common don't feel that way..
heck, I know people that owe me money, favors, etc.
that I STILL wouldn't pass off to others just because I know they may take their calls.
It is rude, and simply not the proper way to do business.
A referral, as defined by my good friend and business partner Glenn Garnes, is when you introduce someone you care about to someone you respect.
That is the key.
It is an introduction, not merely a passing of contact info.
There are several ways to do the introduction effectively and you have to decide which way will work best based on the situation.
The three types of referrals are: 1.
Personal Introduction (face to face, 3 way phone call, or virtual introduction online) a.
This is where you actually introduce someone to someone else 2.
Pre-contact warm up a.
This is where you call the person you have referred someone to and let them know you referred them and to expect a call or visit 3.
Use my name referral.
This is usually pretty much a waste of time...
don't do it.
As you might have guessed, the use my name referral is the one we DON'T want to use, but sometimes, you get some from other people, nothing you can do about it.
I try to discourage getting these by doing a little trick I call WHAT KIND OF REFERRALS DO YOU WANT FROM ME? The way I do it is this.
Let's say someone just gives me a phone number and says "Call him and use my name.
" I say, "Thanks so much! Hey, let me ask you a question.
If I come across someone that I think could use your services, do you mind if I introduce them to you personally, and explain the reasons I think that the two of you should do business together? That way, I act as a connector and help to better establish the referral relationship from the start.
" Inevitably, the other person will say something like "Sure! That would be great!" Then, I simply follow up with "Well, do you think you could do the same for me? You see, I really want to respect your friend's time, and increase the chances of us doing business together.
I think if you helped bring us together the way I mentioned, then both of these objectives would be accomplished.
" There is more to it than this, but this particular scenario is one that we encounter most often so I wanted to make sure to address it here.
Good luck and here's to your referral marketing success!