Ep #208: Common Mistakes of Referral Ninja Beginners
Making mistakes is unfortunately a big part of life. If you’re a business owner, making mistakes is an important part of that too. However, if there is a way for me to prevent you from making the same mistakes others have made, then I want to help you as best as I can. So, in this episode, I will be sharing common mistakes referral ninja beginners make and how you can avoid them in the future.
From thinking of referrals as just another sales activity to believing that referrals will just happen if you’re lucky, there are plenty of incorrect beliefs out there. Listen in as I break them down and explain the reality of what it takes to grow your business.
Links Mentioned During the Episode:
- Email Stacey or DM her on Instagram questions or topics you want included in the Business Development Summer Series.
Looking for Referral & Client Experience Resources:
Take the Referral Ninja Quiz to test your skills and abilities at generating referrals. (FREE)
Buy my book – Generating Business Referrals Without Asking – and learn how to generate referrals through my 5 steps. (LESS THAN $16)
Consider joining Building a Referable Business™ – a unique way to learn all of my referral strategies and tactics with ongoing weekly access to me to answer your questions and help hold you accountable! Email me for more details.
Next episode is #209, and we discuss what it looks like and feels like to triple your business.
Download The Full Episode Transcript
Read the Transcript Below:
Stacey Brown Randall: Making mistakes is unfortunately a big part of life, and if you’re a business owner, well, it can be a big part of that too. But if there’s ever a time, ever a chance that I could save you for making mistakes, that I see others making, you know I want to tell you about it, and that’s what today’s episode is all about.
You are not just another hustling salesperson. You are the expert, the
resource, the valuable partner for your clients, and how you grow your
business should reflect how your clients see you.
Welcome to the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. We generate
referrals without asking, build positive client experiences, and help
you take control of your business.
Here’s your charmingly sarcastic host, Stacey Brown Randall.
Stacey Brown Randall: Hey there, and welcome to episode 208 of the Roadmap To Grow Your Business Podcast. I’m your host, Stacy Brown Randall. Quick shout out to my buddy and BRB, that’s building a referable business member, Steven. He is an attorney and I just want to share his first quarter results. In three months, he received 20 referrals. That means he’s on pace to get 80 referrals this year, if he keeps it up. But what I love most about what Steve shared when he was talking about his results is that eight of those 20 referrals came in one week from a very specific event that we had been talking about in his BRB weekly coaching sessions. Now, does that mean you have to do an event? Heck no. This is just something that he does every year, that’s kind of become a tradition with his referral sources, and this year he was handsomely rewarded with eight referrals right after it.
If you’re curious what we’re talking about, then you need to join us in building a referral business. Okay, don’t forget. Coming up, we have our business development series. It’s going to be the theme of our summer series is business development, because who doesn’t want to think about sales and new clients and business development and prospects and all the things throughout the summer? So, it’s not too late for you to submit any questions that you have or any requests that you have about certain topics about business development that you want me to cover, because there’s a lot of them from messaging to ideal clients, to sources, to pipelines and funnels, right? There is also, of course, the buyer’s journey and closings and all the different things that go into business development, AKA sales, my friends. So, if you want to make sure something is covered, well, you got to let me know.
So, either email me and my email will be there for you right there on the show notes page for this episode, which is StaceyBrownRandall.com/208. Stacey has an E, or you can also reply on an email to me that I have sent to you, or of course, direct message or private message me through some of the mini social media platforms that I seem to hang out on. Okay. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Mistakes, they happen. We know it. We wish we could all be perfect people. We all know we are far from it, and that’s okay, because with every mistake we make, we get a lot of opportunity to learn and hopefully not repeat the mistake and definitely do better next time. But when I see common mistakes that lots of people are making again and again and again, well, I kind of want to sound the alarm about them.
So, I have got a couple of common mistakes that I see people who are trying to get referrals, what they’re doing when they’re at that beginner stage. So, these are common mistakes that I see what I would refer to as our referral ninja beginners, those newbies, those trying to get started with referrals. This does not mean they’re new in business. Heck, some of my referral ninja beginners have been in business 10, 15 plus years, but I see it when they’re finally like, okay, I’m going to do something with referrals. This is the year. This is the time. I’m going to do something with referrals and they kind of start to dive in, they make some common mistakes that I want to save you from. So, I have four of them. Now, if you’re wondering if you are a referral ninja beginner, well, that just means you haven’t taken our quiz.
You may not be. You may be at a different level, but you don’t know until you take the quiz. So, hop on over to referralquiz.com and definitely take our nine-question quiz, that’ll tell you at the end, what level of a referral ninja you are, and it’ll provide a roadmap of what it looks like to move from the level where you are to the level where everybody should want to be, which is a referral ninja master. It’s pretty awesome at this level. I’d love for you to come join me, and all my other clients that are here at the master level. So, if you don’t know what level you are of a referral ninja, please state the quiz. Go to referralquiz.com. Nine simple questions. You’re just going to fill out those questions. Don’t overthink it. Go with your gut. Go with the truth and then get your level and find out where you are.
Then of course, we’ll show you how to get to the top level, to the referral ninja master level. But these are the common mistakes that I see referral ninja beginners make, and I don’t want you making them, and if you are making them, I want to tell you about them now, so you can stop. There’s four of them. Let’s do it. Number one, you think of referrals as another sales activity. Now the truth is, referrals are prospects coming to your business, and so they are absolutely a part of your sales process. It’s just how they show up is different than a networking event or a cold call, or they happen to respond to one of your advertisements, right? So, if you think about it, a referral is still bringing you a prospect, which means a lot of people then think about the stuff that they do, the referral activities that they’re going to do.
They think about them like other sales activities, which means the messaging’s all wrong. The end user’s all wrong, and we’re not really thinking about referrals the way that we need to. What I mean by the messaging’s all wrong, and the end, user’s all wrong, when you think about typical sales activities, you’re thinking about your marketing and your prospecting, what you’re marketing and your prospecting is really focused on how quickly can I get you to the prospect and the end user of all the messaging, whether it’s your billboard or your Facebook ad or a conversation you’re having with someone at a networking event, it’s all focused on uncovering and finding and speaking to the prospect, which means you’re using sales language. There’s nothing wrong with that as part of your sales process. But even though referrals brings you clients that will then go through your sales process, you cannot think about referrals as just another sales activity that I do, like my networking or like my cold calling or like my farming out postcards to a neighborhood, which I know a lot of real estate agents do.
You can’t think about it like the typical prospecting and marketing type tactics or activities that you do, because referrals, whereas yes, they bring you clients and yes, referrals as part of our sales strategy, it’s not just another sales activity. It’s own standalone plan, and you need to of course, set it up correctly so that you can have success. So, do me a favor and don’t think of referrals as just another sales activity. Think of them as their own standalone, third leg to your sales strategy stool, where you have your own dedicated plan, people, language, intentionality, authenticity, mindset, heart-set, all the things in place when you’re in referral mode. Okay. Number two, common mistake that I see referral ninja beginners make is, they are now at a place where they just believe that referrals will just happen, if they’re lucky. Yes. Sometimes it can feel when a referral shows up and you didn’t see it coming that whoa, you got lucky.
You hit the jackpot. It’s an amazing feeling when somebody refers you, but if it feels like luck or they feel haphazard or sporadic and you certainly don’t have any control over them, that’s not true. You just haven’t figured out what it looks like to have control over your referrals, and you haven’t quite understood why the random, haphazard, sporadic ones you are receiving, you haven’t uncovered the pattern as to why you are receiving them. So, believe me, referrals don’t just happen. I know it feels that way, if you don’t have a strategy or a plan in place and congrats on receiving some, but if you’re going to, if you don’t want to stay at the beginner level, it’s going to be important for you to remember that you do have some control, which means you do have some things you need to do for referrals to happen, and they’re not just because you’re lucky.
It’s because you’re doing something right, and something else probably happened that you didn’t even know you were doing that was able to make that referral happen for you. So, you need to understand what is the activities? What is the action? What is the intentionality? What are the things? What are the language? What are the actions that I take, so that referrals will happen more often because there is a part of referrals that you can control. You just have to understand which part, which piece, and then you have to make sure you have the right strategy in place for it. Okay. Common mistake, number three, that I see referral ninja beginners making, and this all comes down to how they care or show lack of care to their referral sources. Now remember, referral sources, they’re humans. They’re the people that are referring you, whether they’re an existing referral source, which means they’ve referred you in the past, or maybe they’re on your potential referral source list, the soon-to-be people who will be referring you.
What I find with beginners is that they don’t actually care for their referral sources correctly. There are lots of weights to care for your referral sources, but to do it correctly, well, that takes knowledge and making sure you’re doing the right things. So, a lot of times I’ll hear people say, “Well, I email my referral sources every month, my e-Newsletter, and I make sure that they get a holiday card for me at the end of every year. So, they’re getting these emails every month or every other week, and they’re getting this holiday card at the end of the year, and that’s how I’m communicating. That’s how I’m taking care of my referral sources.” Or I hear the opposite of that, and that’s an overload. Right? They’re getting a card for me, every, a mailed card for me every month that I have another company sent out on my behalf.
Of course, in addition to that card that they’re sending every month, then I’m also sending them e-newsletters or an email every month as well, and I’m definitely making sure that they hear from me on text messages and phone calls every month too, or at least every other month, and they’re smothering their referral sources with tactics that don’t take any time or energy, to be honest. It doesn’t take a lot of time of energy to send an email, send a text message, have another company send your handwritten or not handwritten cards for you. Of course, right, when you think about all those things, it just, it doesn’t take a lot of time to do those things, and when they’re happening often like every month or every other month, or maybe even a couple of times a month, when we start to ignore them, when they become routine and feel disingenuous.
So, how you care for your referral sources is critical. I mean, it’s key. There’s something about surprise and delight. There’s something about variety. When we build out a referral plan for someone who’s either in my Growth By Referrals Program or they’re in building a referral business, because Growth By Referrals is a part of building a referral business. But when we’re working with someone to build out their referral plan of how they’re going to take care of their referral sources, we are really, really clear. First, who are we talking about? Who are we building this plan for? Because if they referred you before, we know that there’s potential for them to refer you again, if we take care of them the right way. But then we’re also paying attention to a framework that’s rooted in science and psychology and how the brain works and all those things about how people feel cared for.
So, what we build, there’s a method to it. There’s a process behind it. There’s scientific fact behind what we build. So, if you’re doing the same thing over and over again, I’m just going to write seven handwritten notes a year and watch my referrals just unleash themselves as an explosion, I’m going to be telling you no, that’s incorrect. That’s not how it works. There’s a science behind what it looks like, and what we do needs to be memorable and meaningful. Most definitely. It’s not about staying in touch, folks. We’re keeping top of mind. We are not keeping in touch. We’re staying top of mind, and that all looks different than the typical way I see beginners who want referrals and meanwhile, try to take care of their referral sources. Trust me, if it doesn’t take you any time or thought, and it’s all you’re doing are the easiest things like text messages and emails, and it doesn’t take you a lot of time and thought, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Does it have to take you a ton of time? Heck no. I mean, it’s one of the things I love about the plan that we create for existing referral sources, that it shouldn’t take you a lot of time, because you’re not doing something every day, week or month. But you will invest some time and energy when it comes time to execute on what we call touch points or outreach geo-referral sources throughout the year. It just won’t be a time suck every day, every week or every month. Okay. The fourth mistake that I see referral ninja engine beginners making is they lack a plan they can manage. This is so key. It doesn’t matter to me if you have been in business three years or 13 years, it really doesn’t matter. You have to build a plan that you can manage. If you are a solo-preneur, you’re a part of the club, that’s like me, that’s me, myself and I.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have an army of contractors that I use and I love them dearly and they make my life so much better, but they’re not an employee. But they’re, at the end of the day, whether you have someone you can delegate to or outsource to or not, you have to build a plan with capacity in mind. When I’m working with my BRB members and we’re building out, anything that they’re doing in the plan, I’m always asking, “Do you have capacity to accomplish this?” Because if you don’t, let’s acknowledge it up front and find a better workaround, because there’s always a better workaround than just ignoring it. So it’s really, really important that when you build a plan to either cultivate new people into referring you or to cultivate your existing referral sources into providing more referrals for you, whatever plan you build, you got to be able to manage it.
You have to have capacity for it. Shoestring budgets, totally preferred, because you actually shouldn’t be trying to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars throughout the year, every year on your referral sources. I know there’s a lot of popular books out there that talk about the types of gifts that you can be giving, and that will actually unleash your referrals for you. But the truth is gifts is just one of the many ways that you can take care of your referral sources and the plan you put in place. When I say you’ve got to be able to manage it, I mean, yes, you’ve got to be able to follow it, to execute on it, but it also has to be doable. Right? It also needs to be something that you can manage, that you can do, because you either have the capacity, the money or the extra help and the resources or whatever it is for your individual ways that you’re taking care of your referral sources.
So, number four, of course, is you got to have a plan you can manage. Okay. So, real quick, from the top, here are the four common mistakes, as a recap, here are the four common mistakes that I see referral ninja beginners make. They think of referrals as just another sales activity. They are not. They believe referrals just happen because you’re lucky. That is not true. They don’t care for their referral sources correctly. Yes, there’s a right and a wrong way. They lack a plan that they can manage, because a plan that doesn’t get executed on is kind of a worthless plan. Those are the four common mistakes that I see referral ninja beginners make, and if I was throwing in a bonus fifth one, it would be, they overthink it. When you get into this world, and you’re like, “Okay, I don’t want to make these common mistakes. And I want to become a referral ninja master.”
You’ve listened to the podcast. You’ve read the books, and you’re figuring it out. Right? But, you don’t have to come into one of my programs to figure it out. You’re figuring it out. Sometimes they find themselves at a place where they just are overthinking it. I’m like, whoa, you’re overthinking it. Back it up. Right? Slow your roll. Let’s back this up. Let’s make sure that we’re doing the things we need to do, but not doing all the things just because we can. Right? There’s no need to overthink this and overdo it, which is why sometimes it’s super helpful to have a guide come alongside you and be like, do this, not that. Which of course, is what I provide in any of my programs, and then definitely from a coaching perspective, through our weekly coaching sessions, and of course, the one-on-one sessions you have with me, if you’re in building a referral business.
All right. So, those are the four ways and they’re very, very important. Don’t make those mistakes. Right? Those are the, not the four ways, those are the four common mistakes, or I guess, the four ways you don’t want to do things, by all means. All right. Here’s the show notes link for this episode, Staceybrownrandall.com/208. Go back and review these four common mistakes that referral ninja beginners make. Of course, if you want to submit a request for a topic or a question you want answered in our summer series focused on business development, you can find a link to direct message me or email me on the show notes page for this episode, StaceyBrownRandall.com/208. All right. Next week is episode 209, and we’re going to talk about what it looks like and feels like to triple your business in one year. Until then, take control and grow your business. Bye for now.
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access all resources and links mentioned in today’s show, and to
connect with Stacey, head over to www.staceybrownrandall.com.