Here’s How to Make Referrals Pop Up Like Poodles on Party Pills
Most people have no clue how to ask for referrals, but we have a way that you can come up with a single conversational question that you basically take to your data base (past and present clients, prospects, family, friends, acquaintances) and quite literally turn on referrals like a tap.
I’m not going to put the whole box and dice here, but I’ll share a piece of it so you can see the difference the right THINKING can make.
But before I go on and share this, I want to ask 3 questions:
1. Are you getting the quality and quantity of referrals that you’d like from your business networking activities?
2. Would you like to do something about that?
3. Would you like to do something about that RIGHT NOW?
If you answered “no”, “yes” and “yes”, then we need to talk as a matter of urgency. And now for the sharing:
I was trying to come up with a “who do you know who …” type of question for a guy in our group who specialises in web design and SEO. My first thoughts about this (because I admit this is not an industry I have much experience of) were that the “pain” that might get people on the phone to him could be that so much money was wasted on web sites that achieved nothing and were basically invisible on the web. (In my own defence I think an understandable assumption.)
The think tank did their job and called me on this. The consensus was that this wasn’t part of the potential client’s internal “pain” conversation and I had to agree. “Who do you know who’s wasting money on a web site that’s not bringing in new business?” just didn’t really create a visceral reaction. It was a million miles better than “Do you know anyone who wants a web site done?”, but it didn’t hit the sweet spot.
As we talked together later in the day to try to discover the “conversation” that people might be having with themselves over a related “pain”, our guy said “advertising”. Straight away this hit the nail on the head. Everyone in business knows that traditional media is costing more, and returning less. The pain of paying out advertising costs that are returning rubbish results is at the forefront of many business owners’ minds.
So our new question (I won’t give away the secret framing around this question, or the conversational sequence, because it’s part of the Rock Star Strategy tm) is:
“Who do you know who might want to stop wasting money on advertising?”
THAT gets attention like a punch in the guts, and most business owners will at least be curious how that might be accomplished. Now we have an effective question to seek referrals.
So the lesson: it’s all about naming the pain that would cause someone to want to have a conversation with us, in the language the potential client is actually using inside their own head. Sometimes this is not obvious, but it’s always worth digging.
Hope this is some fun food for thought,