Ep #239: Are Your Referrals Happy Accidents?

Do you describe referrals as “happy accidents”? If so, don’t miss this episode because I’ll be taking you through what you can do to take control of your referrals and make 2023 the year that you get serious about the referrals coming into your business.

Listen in as I share the easiest place to start getting consistent referrals to your business, as well as what your business could have looked like if those “happy accidents” had not happened. You’ll learn why it’s a bad idea to leave your referrals game up to chance and how to get serious about consistent referrals.

Links Mentioned During the Episode:

Want to join me for the live training in January on how to follow up with referred prospects?  Then check out the group coaching experience, Building a Referable Business™ and submit your application today!  

Next Episode:

Next episode is #240, and it’s Q&A time!

Download The Full Episode Transcript

Read the Transcript Below:

Stacey Brown Randall: If you would describe receiving referrals in your business as “happy accidents,” then we need to talk. And this episode is for you, my friend.

Hey there, and welcome to episode 239 of the Roadmap to Referrals Podcast, a show about helping you build a referral business. I’m your host, Stacey Brown Randall.

Happy accidents, while happy they are still accidents which means you didn’t intend for it to happen. That is the definition of an accident. And your referrals, in case you’re wondering, shouldn’t be happening that way. They shouldn’t be accidents. And you shouldn’t be treating them like that’s the only way they’re going to happen as these random happy accidents that show up from time to time.

When I think about people describing their referrals or receiving referred prospects referrals into their business, and I think about people like telling me, “Oh, they’re happy accidents,” I honestly believe they mean it as a positive. I do not take it as a positive.

I mean, I’m so glad that you are getting referrals; that is amazing, and you deserve them. But the fact that they just show up and you’re not doing anything to be able to receive them consistently and you think that they’re just accidents in your business — I mean, even if it is a good kind of an accident, that’s not what I want for you.

Like it makes me think about if I just look at, like if I carve out just one piece of my business, it makes me think about the carve out, just the members of my BRB coaching program.

So, BRB of course, is my Building a Referral Business coaching program. So, if I think about just the members in that group.

So, this is my like hands-on, one-to-one group coaching access to all the trainings. Like it is probably the number one way that people work with me when they want all the strategies, and they want to have access to me, and they want to be able to not be rushed through it in like 90 days, and they have like a year.

So, it’s one of the more powerful (I believe) ways that I work with clients. It’s not for everybody. A coaching program where you’re going to have access to a bunch of strategies and access to ask me questions and have some one-on-one time with me, that model isn’t for everybody.

It’s why I also have self-study online programs as well. But for those who want to up-level and really want to dig in and spend a year getting everything in place, and getting everything right, those are the members inside my BRB coaching program.

So, when I looked at those who were current clients — so BRB’s been going on now over a year. We launched it towards the end of 2021. But I decided to look at all the members who had ever joined BRB, and it’s a small group.

This is not a group that has hundreds of people in it. It is a very small group on purpose because of how much of the hands-on and one-to-one attention that I give, and I want to make sure there’s space for that.

So, when I looked at those who were current clients, meaning they were in BRB, but they were current clients when they enrolled in BRB. Meaning they were enrolled in another program or in some cases, multiple programs that I had, and then they decided to upgrade into BRB when I made it available.

When I looked at those clients, plus the brand-new clients who joined direct into BRB, and that was the first thing they had ever done with me. When I looked at those clients that are in that program, and then where they came from, more than 50% of them came from referrals. That probably doesn’t surprise you based on what I teach.

And the rest, of course, just to kind of break it down — came from like they heard me on a podcast, or they were a part of a presentation that I gave. Those are two ways that I also, in addition to referrals being my biggest way. But that’s two other ways that I actually grow my reputation, my brand.

And then, of course, get introduced and connected to other audiences is being guest interviewed on other podcasts, and having organizations and associations and companies have me do presentations. So, that wasn’t surprising that the rest came from … like 17% came from hearing me on like guesting on someone’s podcast or watching me or being like there live when I did a presentation.

And then I had a few more from like it was kind of a mixed bag of like those who were like from Amazon, like saw my book on Amazon first. Or maybe they had been a part of my network for years, and then decided to start working with me or through social media. And whether that’s through ads, which I haven’t done in forever; but ads or just from outreach within social media or seeing it on social media.

And those were like the book on Amazon, being part of my network and social media, they were like four to 8% each. And then, of course, I, like everybody have a few folks who I just don’t remember. So, they’re labeled as the unknowns.

But when you look at where all of my clients that are inside BRB, my coaching program — when you look at where they came from. And I think about just those that had been referred to me. So, I love those that heard me on a podcast or watched a presentation or saw my book on Amazon, or have known me for years or found me on social media. And I love those who don’t remember how they heard about me either. I love all of them.

But when I think about those who were referred to me, those who make up more than 50% of my BRB membership, I can’t imagine not having those BRB members as clients. I can’t imagine those BRB members not have been referred to me, which gave me the opportunity to work with them and help them.

Would there be other clients to fill their spots? Probably. But when I look at the names of each client who was referred to me, I’m really just overcome with this immense sense of gratitude and feeling very blessed.

So, if you need a little encouragement to take your referrals seriously this year, to take them from happy accidents that just kind of, you’re just happy that you receive them and you just feel lucky that you get them — to take them from happy accidents to take control of them so you can receive consistent referrals, then this is what I want you to do for me right now, as long as you’re not driving. And if you’re driving, I need you to pull over. Do this safely, please.

Okay. Here’s what I need you to do. I need you to look back at all of your 2022 clients — brand new clients that came to you for the first time in 2022. And then look back at all your clients that were working with you in 2022, but they were repeat clients. So, they’ve hired you in the past and then they came back to work with you again, because you’re so good. That’s right.

So, look back at all the new clients you had from 2022, and then all the clients you got to work with in 2022 that were repeat clients. And I want you to identify where they came from. Now, we called this the source, identifying the source.

So, were they referred to you by someone? Did you meet them at a networking event, are you in a leads group with them? Did they find you on social media or SEO search? Did you mail out a direct mail campaign that they answered? Did they see a sign, whether that was on your car or in your yard or on a building? Whatever it is, write it down.

And in some cases, you may have to retrace your steps to determine how those new clients in 2022 and those repeat clients in 2022 came to know about you. So, you’re just going to take a minute and you’re going to just map this out.

Because what I find incredibly valuable is when I take a minute to do this. And I actually did it in a notebook this year. I look at my sales spreadsheet, I look at my client relationship management tool, my CRM, but I took a minute just to like, “I’m going to write this down.”

So, I like wrote down (this is exactly what I’m asking you guys to do) the names of every single person in my BRB coaching program. Now, this may look different for you. This may be every client that you did an estate plan for this year, if you’re an estate attorney.

This may be every client that you helped buy or sell a home last year. I said this year, but I meant last year. This may be every client that you helped buy or sell a home last year if you’re a real estate agent. This may be every client that you did any type of work for them.

Like I was going to go through and like talk about architects and interior designers, and CPAs. Like my brain started going in too many different directions trying to give examples of different types of business owners that I work with, but you get my point.

Like just pull out the piece of paper, like let’s do it a little bit different. Pull out the piece of paper, and again, just give me the clients from 2022 — the new clients from 2022. Give me the clients from 2022 that were also repeat clients.

When I did this with just my BRB coaching program members, and then I wrote down their names, and then I identified where they came from. So, I put an R next to them if they were a repeat client, and if they were also originally referred to me before they became a repeat client, then they got another R.

So, that can kind of be confusing, but I put shapes around my R so I know what I’m doing in keeping them all clear. Maybe for you, you write “repeat” if they’re a repeat client, “new” if they’re a new client, and then you write down their source, like where they referred to you? Like just write it down.

Hey, pardon the interruption on January 25th, I’ll be teaching my BRB members (that’s my Building a Referable Business members) the step-by-step process to follow up with referred prospects from last year that didn’t commit to working with you. There is a way to do this correctly, so the referral piece stays intact and works for you.

If you’d like to join me for this live training, there is still time for you to submit your application to join BRB and get onboarded well in advance of our teaching the live training on January 25th. But don’t delay, you’ll want to submit an application ASAP so we have time to process it.

And then, of course, get you officially registered and onboarded as a BRB member. Go to staceybrownrandall.com/referable to learn all about BRB and submit your application today.

Okay, so you’ve got those folks written down. Once you’ve written down your clients — new clients and repeat clients that you worked with in 2022, and you’ve got their sources written down … again, Excel spreadsheet within a document, on a piece of paper. It doesn’t matter to me how you did it.

For some reason, I did want to write it down this year. I don’t really know why it was important for me to write it down in a notebook. I just pulled out a notebook and started writing it down. There’s something about writing down each person’s name.

And maybe it’s because my coaching program, it’s a smaller group of people. I mean, it’s not like five people, but it is a smaller group of people considering some of the other things that I do. And so, I get to know them over the course of the year.

Like I know, things that happen in their personal lives in addition to things that happen in their business lives. So, writing their names down, like these people are like they’ve become my friends. Not like we go grab a beer every month. That’s not that kind of friend. That’s not what I mean.

But like they matter to me. Like they’re super valuable to me in terms of not only how they allow me to help them, but what they bring to my life. Like I’ve got some pretty incredible humans I’m fortunate enough to work with.

But I want you to take a moment just like I did and really look at the name of each person, each client in particular, those who were referred to you. And then imagine they weren’t. Imagine that happy little accident of that client being referred to you didn’t happen. They weren’t referred, so they didn’t become your client.

You didn’t get to help them. You didn’t get to see them have amazing success. You didn’t get to help them through a rough patch. You didn’t help them see their business in a way they’ve never seen it before.

You didn’t give them the gift of peace of making sure that their finances were all buttoned up the way they need to be. You didn’t give them the peace of knowing that if something happened, they’re protected.

Imagine whatever it is you do — you didn’t get to do it for those clients that were referred to you because those happy little accidents didn’t happen. Here’s the thing; imagine how different last year would’ve been if your happy little accidents, those people referred to you didn’t happen. Those people who are probably so thankful to be working with you aren’t working with you because they never existed to begin with. Because they weren’t referred.

And if they weren’t referred, they didn’t have an opportunity to become your client. That’s what you’re walking into for this year, not having strategies in place and tactics in place to receive referrals consistently.

Look, if you get some referrals from time to time and they’re your happy little accidents, I’m glad you’re receiving them. I really, really am. But it makes me nervous for you. It makes me nervous for the business owner that I talk to and they learn that I do referrals.

They’re like, “Oh, I get some of those” and I’m like, “What would it look like if you got the some you get every year but you get that every quarter?” And they’ll be like, “Well, that would be a game changer.” I’m like, “Yeah, and all you need to do is get a little bit more serious about the strategies you’re putting into place, and the tactics and then how you’re going about generating those referrals.”

The whole purpose of this episode was for you to imagine if your referrals are happy accidents, those clients that you received, that were referred to you because they’re happy accidents. If it didn’t exist, how different would your year be?

Because that’s what you’re ultimately facing; when referrals are left up to chance or to just happen sporadically without a strategy, it’s like starting 2023 lacking your full potential, and I just want something different for you this year.

I want you to say in 2022, I received referrals and they were these beautiful, happy accidents I’m so thankful for. But in 2023, I got really serious about my referrals and the people who refer me. And I did a better job of taking care of those relationships and planting referral seeds and doing the strategies and tactics I needed to do to generate more referrals.

And my referrals that I got in 2023, they happened because I had a strategy and a system in place and I worked the process, not because they just sporadically or inconsistently showed up and I got lucky, but I did the work. That’s what I want for you.

The easiest place to start is to write down the names of all the people who referred those clients to you, and decide to be intentional in cultivating and deepening the relationship with them. If you don’t know what that looks like or how to do it well, so it saves you time instead of wasting it and you want to make sure you come across as thankful and grateful instead of desperate, pushy, and like you have some kind of undercover agenda, then let’s talk.

Because I’d be happy to help you in 2023. Move from your referrals just being happy accidents, to the expected consistency you deserve.

Show notes for this episode, staceybrownrandall.com/239. Remember, if you want to join me and the other members of the BRB coaching program on January 25th for our live training on how to follow up with referred prospects from last year, then submit your application ASAP so we can review it to make sure you’re a good fit for BRB, and then get you onboarded.

Go to staceybrownrandall.com/referable to learn about BRB and submit your application now.

Next week is episode 240, and since it’s the 10th episode, it’s a question-and-answer episode. Until then, take control and grow your business. Bye for now.

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