Whether you’re a brand-new listener or a long-time listener, there is nothing like hearing from a business owner – like you – who is having referral success. What are they doing differently, and how is it working for them? Let’s find out!
I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my Building a Referable Business clients, Randall Brody. Randall is the founder of Tax Samaritan and Peace of Mind Tax Help, specializing in solving tax issues for expats. In this episode, he shares his incredible journey of success and how he was able to triple his referrals in just six months!
During our conversation, Randall dives deep into the strategies and mindset shifts he made to achieve such impressive results. He discusses the importance of tracking, doing the work, and being open to new ways of generating referrals. You’ll walk away from this episode with actionable tips and a fresh perspective on building a referable business.
Stacey Brown Randall: Whether you’re a brand-new listener to this podcast, or one of my longtime listeners, there’s nothing like hearing from a business owner like yourself, who is having referral success. What are they doing differently, and how is it working for them? Let’s find out.
Hey there and welcome to episode 277 of the Roadmap to Referrals podcast, a show about helping you build a referable business. I’m your host, Stacey Brown Randall. My journey from a business failure to a successful business now 10 years in, I know generating referrals naturally and consistently has made all the difference. Working with clients around the world. We leverage the science of referrals, protect relationships above all else, and help you build a referable business.
For today’s episode, I am excited to welcome one of my Building a Referable Business clients, one of my coaching program members, Randall Brody to the show. You guys are going to love this interview.
Not only does he talk about the amazing success he had in his first three months, and then in his first six months, he’s also going to talk about probably the same things you were thinking regarding how to make this work within your business. He’s going to talk about that from the perspective of tracking and doing the work and even some mindset shifts he had to make so that this would work for him.
So here’s a little bit about Randall before we dive into the interview. He is an income tax expert. He’s the founder of Tax Samaritan and Peace of Mind Tax Help, which specializes in solving tax issues for expats. He’s regularly published in the EA, Enrolled Agents Journal, and he has aided more than 9,500 taxpayers and eliminated over $800 million in tax debt. And he started earlier this year, to really get serious about building a referable business. So let’s get to it.
Stacey Brown Randall: Randall, I’m very excited to have you on the podcast. You’re the first person I have had on the podcast that’s first name is the same as my last name. So sometimes, when I’m talking to you, I think I’m talking about myself. So I am so excited that you are here with us today. Before we dive in, I did give you an official bio before we started this interview, but why don’t you tell my listeners a little bit about you and what you do?
Randall Brody: Sure. Well, I’m income tax expert. Randall Brody, founder of two companies, Tax Samaritan and Peace of Mind Tax Help, and have over 30 years of experience helping taxpayers solve their Expat Tax problems.
So by expats, I mean US taxpayers that are overseas. And I’ve helped over 9,500 taxpayers eliminate more than $800 million in tax debts. So whether a taxpayer is facing an audit, penalties, or overwhelming tax debt, my companies are here to help them take their first step towards financial freedom.
Stacey Brown Randall: Let’s just start with like a question that I think everybody sometimes needs to be reminded of. So all the listeners who are listening to this episode, like just that opportunity to remind them from your perspective, why do you think referrals are just so important to business in general?
Randall Brody: Well, there’s a lot of reasons. But a couple of reasons that come to mind for me are one, they’re significantly lower cost. And, at the end of the day, a lower effort than most any other marketing activity, whether it’s paid advertising, or otherwise.
And also, because they’re referrals from someone that they know, like, and trust already, the conversion rate of closing those sales is significantly higher versus, you know, a cold lead from paid advertising.
Stacey Brown Randall: Yeah, across all industries, if you kind of look at across all industries, and you take the average closing ratio of referrals to other non-referral type prospects to paying clients, it’s 70%. That doesn’t mean everybody has a 70% closing ratio.
But it really, I mean, I think that has a lot to do with that trust factor, like you said in terms of that 70% comes from when someone’s referred, they’re more likely to go with the person they referred than the one they may find through like a Facebook ad, or through some type of cold outreach. So I think it’s always important for businesses to recognize the importance of referrals.
What were some of the past, like perceived ideas or perceived notions that you had about referrals, that now you think about completely differently because you’ve been learning for me?
Randall Brody: Sure, well, in the past and my past practice with referrals is that it had to be very much in their face with asking for the referral. So you wouldn’t get a referral unless you asked for it. And that was my, you know, prior practice and understanding and approach with referrals and met with some referrals. But definitely far below what I was hoping for.
Stacey Brown Randall: Yeah, I think that’s a biggie. I think most people have this perceived notion that they have to ask. And then if they forget to do it, or they’re not comfortable doing it, and so they avoided on purpose, it really does sink the amount of referrals that they could be receiving.
And we’re going to talk about the awesome success that you’ve had, since you have switched kind of how you think and go about generating referrals since being in the BRB coaching program. But I want to save the like the drumroll moment for what your results have looked like for a little bit later, as there are other questions I want to ask you first. We’ll build some anticipation for our listeners right now.
So what were some of the problems that you were trying to solve in your business when you made the decision to join the Building a Referable Business coaching program?
Randall Brody: So one of the big problems that I was trying to solve was how the landscape with paid advertising was changing, particularly with digital advertising, such as with Facebook ads. I had seen in the last several years with privacy concerns that the ROI and the effectiveness of those marketing activities went significantly down to the point where I was, I said, well, I need to cut out this advertising, because it’s a waste of money. And it’s only gotten worse since then, with, you know, cookies being removed from advertising. So it’s even more challenging aspects.
So about a year ago, actually, less than a year ago, one of my coaches recommended, you know, there’s two prongs that you should focus on very heavily. One is retaining the customers you have, it’s a lot cheaper and easier to keep the customers that you have. And the second is getting referrals from those existing customers, delivering a phenomenal experience, and increasing your rate of referrals. And so that’s what led me here today.
Stacey Brown Randall: Yeah, because I will tell you, so first of all, your other coach, very smart person, don’t know who they are, but very smart that they said you need to be focusing on referrals as well.
What I find, though, is then you’re left with identifying, well, how am I going to do that, right? It’s like, how am I going to generate those referrals when you don’t want to ask. When you don’t want to have to incentivize. When you don’t want to feel like you’re having to network all the time or be promotional and gimmicky. And there’s not a lot out there in terms of what does it look like to generate referrals differently?
And so I’m sure when your other coach said, Hey, let’s keep who we’ve got AND let’s get more referrals, I’m sure you went through that, ‘great, how do I do that, if I don’t want to ask for them?’
And a lot of business owners are hit with, “Well, you just have to get over yourself and start asking for them.” And I mean, I’m glad that you’re like, you asked the question, “Wait, there’s got to be a better way.” And then of course, you found your way into my world as well. So I think that that’s important.
Something I don’t think people pay attention to, it’s one thing to know you need to do it, it’s another to figure out a way to do it, that’s going to work for you, so that you will do it and be consistent.
Randall Brody: Right. Right. Right. No, absolutely. And I was very much so stuck in the mindset of the only way I could do it, particularly with the clients that I had overseas, is asking for referrals. So that’s everything that I knew. And everything that I’ve been taught previously was, you just got to ask and ask some more.
Stacey Brown Randall: Terrible advice, right? We know it’s terrible advice when we don’t want to do it. Like, why does it have to be, why just because it’s been said forever doesn’t necessarily mean it’s got to be the thing that we do.
So I’m glad that you were like, ‘let me find a different way’. And that your willingness to find a different way brought you into my world because you’ve actually had some fast success when you first joined BRB.
And I know there are people who say, Well, how can I have fast success like that, and you got like 30 referrals in your first 90 days in the program, just working through the processes. And I have people always say, “How can I guarantee that I’m going to have that too?”
And what I always tell folks is that when you have fast success like that, you probably had a lot you were sitting on from a referral perspective and just didn’t know it. Right? Others don’t have a lot of referral sources and it takes longer for them to cultivate people to refer them. And so they can have that success too, it just may not be as fast from that perspective.
But what’s it been like for you as a BRB member? Now you’ve been a member just over six months. I think it’s like seven months or something since you joined. What’s it kind of been like for you as a member of BRB?
Randall Brody: Well, personally, it’s been a huge shift in mindset, away from just asking for referrals to, you know, focus on developing relationships with clients and prospects. And so that’s a roadblock that I’ve had in the past.
Again, just with my mindset with clients being overseas, well, how can I develop relationships with clients overseas. I rarely, if ever see them face to face. How am I going to do this? And so that’s one of the, you know, big things that you’re Building a Referable Business program has taught me is shifted the mindset and how to do this.
And as far as, you know, having success, at least for me working with a coach or a mastermind program, it’s always been for me, in my experience, like a fast track to implementation. I’m not a procrastinator, but when I work with a coach, it’s like, everything’s in turbo drive.
And so I just focus on staying on track with what you or the coach says, This is what you need to do during this, you know, first 30-day sprint or 60-day sprint or a 90-day sprint, and just focused on, you know, focusing on that very small area, and the results came in.
Stacey Brown Randall: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, it’s like, we talk about you having a fast success and getting all those referrals in your first 90 days. But the truth is, it’s because you did the work that you were supposed to do in your first 90 days. That obviously is a big part of it.
And I think you’re right, I think it’s one of the reasons why I shifted the focus of my business a couple of years ago, when I launched BRB, this coaching program, because I recognized the people that were having faster success, or deeper success, or longer success, like long-term year after year after year, were the people that had access to me.
And that’s not to say that someone can’t go through an online program, mine or anyone else’s, and do what they need to do and have success. But for the people who really want to look at this and do like the whole shift to the business, they need access.
And so when I was crafting what is BRB gonna look like? What are going to be like the features of it? Like what’s the access to me look like? And I was really intentional about making sure that there weren’t barriers between my clients and me that if you had a question, I needed to answer it for you.
And I know that when we remove barriers and roadblocks as the coach, people make faster progress, because it’s like, oh, I can do that. I thought I didn’t know how and so you just answered my question. And now I can go do it. And I think that’s really valuable.
And I think it’s something that people underestimate until they’ve had success with it. And then they’re like, okay, now I look for things. That if I’m going to invest in my business, I want to be able to have access to someone who can actually help me.
I know I do the same thing. When I’m looking to invest in something I’m like, What’s my access point? And this is just me watching a bunch of videos, and never get to talk to anybody? Or do I watch the videos, learn the things, and then be able to ask my questions that I need.
Randall Brody: And that’s huge. And so you say that, but you really do that. You’re incredibly responsive. Maybe, you know.
Stacey Brown Randall: You can say it.
Randall Brody: My spouse would say, you know, and she said this to me several years ago, you’re too responsive. You don’t have to respond in the middle of the night, your clients aren’t expecting that. It can wait till you know the morning or it could wait to the weekday, but you’re very, very responsive. And just I mean, just so focused and you have not only the responsiveness, but great answers. So insightful, and always, you know, spot on. You’re very wise, and you know this niche of referrals very well.
Stacey Brown Randall: Yeah, I think when you go deep in something, it’s really easy to be like, Oh, I’ve seen this before. And you can just, you just know what to say. I’m sure it’s the same thing with taxes and you, right? In terms of you’re like, I don’t have to think about it. I know that all the answers. I’ve been doing this for so very long.
You know, it’s interesting, my husband and I talk about that from a perspective as well, we have a saying, in our relationship I always joke about, I’ve got more boundaries than a US map. Like I actually have a ton of boundaries. And because I have those boundaries, it feels to my clients, like there aren’t any. But I’m operating from a set of boundaries that allows me to be that responsive.
And like for other people, it’d be like if they thought about it like, well, when does Stacey respond? And when does she not respond? And things like that. They would be like, oh, there’s probably a pattern, right?
But my boundaries allow me to like, I always tell folks, if you get an email from me, like answering your question and it’s after four or five o’clock, particularly if it’s in the spring, I’m probably sitting at a baseball game. And I’m probably answering your question because it’s the one thing that keeps me from yelling at the players on the field, including my son. So sometimes I work my boundaries to keep me to be a good mom and I get to answer my clients’ questions.
Randall Brody: There you go. A win/win.
Stacey Brown Randall: Yeah. You know, I learned that from, I think it was like, I think I read an article where this really professional US Soccer player, her daughter was then playing soccer and people were like, “How do you keep from coaching from the sidelines as the parent?” And she was like, “I always have a sucker.” Like, she was like, I’m always eating something, or I have a sucker. For me, it’s like, I’m just answering my clients’ questions. That’s my version of that. I love it.
Randall Brody: So as far as you might be asking, what were the results so far? So we started in the program in March 2023. It’s now mid-September 2023. And so our referral sales to date versus all of last year, all of 2022, we have nearly tripled the amount of our sales from referrals.
Stacey Brown Randall: So you’re closing in on 60?
Randall Brody: We’re at about $48,000 right now. So to triple we’ll need to be at
Stacey Brown Randall: Oh, you’re talking about revenue?
Randall Brody: Revenue.
Stacey Brown Randall: Oh, I thought you were talking about just numbers.
Randall Brody: I’m talking bottom line dollars.
Stacey Brown Randall: Oh, yes.
Randall Brody: Yeah. So as far as referral prospects, that is almost tripled as well. So we’re at 52, we need to be at 60 to triple all of last year’s referral leads. So it has far, far, far exceeded my expectations.
Stacey Brown Randall: Well, I am so glad. You know, people they do, I say it all the time. I’m like we double, triple, or quadruple, depending on where you’re starting from, for people’s referrals.
And people are like, is it too good to be true? I’m like, well, first of all, you have to do the work. And second of all, no, Randall, you’re living proof of that. We’ve tripled the revenue, and almost tripled the revenue and almost tripled the number of referrals as well in six months, then versus an entire year last year. That is huge.
Randall Brody: It’s nuts. It’s crazy.
Stacey Brown Randall: It is. It’s fabulous, right? I mean, like, but here’s the thing, at the end of the day, Randall, as much as I take huge pride, and secretly I take credit for all your success. No, I’m just kidding. But I take huge pride in what you’re able to accomplish.
The reality of it is, you had the roadmap, you made the decision to invest in the program, to invest in your business, to invest in getting the roadmap from me, but you did the work. So as much as I love to take credit when somebody has huge success like that, at the end of the day, I know, it’s because you were willing to do the work. And that has to be recognized.
Stacey Brown Randall: Hey there, pardon the interruption. You should join Randall Brody and the other amazing business owners who are building a referable business inside the Building a Referable Business coaching program, by applying today. That’s right, you need to apply today.
You can find out all the details of the program and the link to complete your application at staceybrownrandall.com/referable. That’s right, there is a quick application you will need to complete so we know you are the right fit. But don’t worry, it’s the same application that Randall completed as well. So go to staceybrownrandall.com/referable to learn all about our Building a Referable Business coaching program, and to access the application. Now, back to the episode.
Stacey Brown Randall: You mentioned that you got off to a fast start and has fast success. And you did the work because you knew what to focus on in your 30 days, and then your 60 days and your 90 days, which is a format of how we build the program intentionally.
But there’s something else you bring to the table that I think allows you to have some of the fast success that you’ve had. And that is, is that you’re a master tracker. You really do, I mean, you’re probably one of the best I’ve seen in terms of keeping track of the data.
So when I asked you a question like, well, what’s your closing ratio with XYZ? I’m not waiting three weeks to get an answer. You know it, you’re able to give it to me, you know, very quickly.
And I think when you track it just reveals things to you more readily, they’re more readily available. And it allows me to have greater insight to give you better ideas from that perspective.
So I just want you to just give a little bit of wisdom to all the business owners right now that are listening, that are saying to themselves, ‘Oh, I need to do a better job at tracking’. Just give them some encouragement as to why tracking the data, any type of data, whatever it is that people need to track, but why you think it’s important and they should be committed to it?
Randall Brody: Well, I don’t know who said it, but it’s a well-known quote: If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Stacey Brown Randall: Mm hmm. I think that was, was that Good to Great? Was that Jim Collins?
Randall Brody: It could have been. I don’t remember. There’s so much in my brain, I don’t remember who said it. But it’s definitely true. Most people don’t like to, you know, track or measure. But it’s 100% true.
If you don’t measure it, you don’t know how you’re performing. You don’t know where your roadblocks are. You don’t know where there’s areas for improvement. And so, when it comes to tracking the performance and the progress of our referral efforts, all we’re doing simply, and I’ll say “simply” in quotes is just following what you recommended us to do in the program.
Stacey Brown Randall: Yeah, I mean,
Randall Brody: Is it simple? Does it take time? Yes. You know, absolutely. But without it, we’re just flying blind.
Stacey Brown Randall: Yeah, I think about the time where we were building out your next, your second 90-day sprint of like where I wanted you to go next. And I was able to ask you some very specific questions, and you came back with some very specific statistics.
But that actually allowed you to identify another area in the business, you’re like, well, actually, I think I need to focus on this. And then that allowed me to make a suggestion of a different training that I was originally going to recommend.
I’m like, oh, well then you need this training, and then you were able to get what you needed in that moment. But it’s because you had the data for me. And I think that’s really important.
I think every time I go to make a decision, I try to tell myself, is this like, am I feeling that this is the decision I need to make? And it’s not based on anything but feeling or is this am I feeling it because it’s based on data. And those are two totally different things, in terms of being a business owner.
Randall Brody: And your program is so well thought out with, you know, the tracking and the lessons, it just coalesces perfect. And so that’s why we’re getting results. I wouldn’t say necessarily you thought of everything because that would be, you know, nobody’s 100% perfect. But it’s a such a well thought out program. You’re, you know, like I said before, you’re very, very wise and knowledgeable.
Stacey Brown Randall: Thank you. I think a lot of that, though, comes with the fact that I’ve been doing it now 10 years.
Has there been any other like aha moments that you’ve had, while you’ve worked through the last seven months inside BRB that you just didn’t anticipate or see coming? Any other kind of aha moments maybe that you had?
Randall Brody: Oh, my God, there’s so many to choose from, but a huge one, at least as far as response from referral sources, whether they were clients or other businesses, the COI, circles of influence referral sources, were handwritten cards. It just, the response was just like a wow and a shock factor with so many people, you know, it just immediately gets their attention.
And it impresses them that, oh, wow, Randall took the time, granted his handwriting is pretty sloppy. I don’t have great penmanship. But he took the time to write a personal card to me.
And so that along with touch points, was another big area. And so writing those cards, of course, that’s a touch point. But that handwritten touch point, it’s just like, it’s old school, but it was, you know, a new school experience for so many people. And just, of course, that was a factor in the results that we’ve gotten in referrals.
Stacey Brown Randall: Yeah, I always tell folks when they’re thinking about, you know, going through one of my programs or joining the coaching program, and they’re like, they always want to know, like, what am I going to learn that I’ve never thought of before?
And I was like, actually, I’ll probably do a little bit more of reminding you of the things you know you should do, you just don’t do. And I’ll remove the roadblock by telling you exactly what to say when you’re doing them. So that I know you’ll do them.
Like you can’t have the success you had if all you did was write those handwritten thank you notes. But absolutely using that within one of your touch points, the way that we talked about doing it with the language that you’re going to use, like that is a major part of like getting people’s attention because we’re not used to it.
Like, we all know we should write thank you notes. We know we should be doing that. We were probably taught to do that. And then yet we live in a generation and at a time in our society where we don’t.
So a lot of times I feel like I’m just reminding people to do the things we know we’re supposed to do. And then other times, obviously, the things that people don’t see coming, as well. So that’s cool.
So what would you say to another business owner like yourself, who is trying to make the decision to join you inside the BRB coaching program? What would you say to them about why they should join?
Randall Brody: Besides just do it?
Yeah, if you desire referrals to be, you know, a good portion of your sales funnel, then Stacey’s program and coaching is the way to go. So, again, as Stacey said, if you make the effort, you got to make that effort, you got to do the work. But the program is laid out very logically step by step. And so as long as you follow that, I think most people will get tremendous results as well, just like I have.
Stacey Brown Randall: Yes, that is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing.
Okay, so there may be people listening that knows someone that is living abroad, and they’re like, wait, they need someone just like Randall. So please make sure or maybe they know somebody who needs a little help with the IRS. Either way with either of your two companies, let’s take a minute and just make sure that people know where to find you if they need you. Because I think you offer a very valuable service.
I’ve gotten to see the inside, behind the scenes of how you do business, and how much you care about your clients, and the work that you and your team do. So definitely share with folks if they are interested how they can find you, reach you, to learn more about you.
Randall Brody: Oh, sure. So we have two businesses. One is Tax Samaritan. And so if you’re an expat or living abroad, visit us at taxsamaritan.com. Spelled T-A-X. And then Samaritan like Good Samaritan, S-A-M-A-R-I-T-A-N.com. And the other businesses focus strictly on tax resolution. So if you have a tax problem, in collections, owe money, visit us at peaceofmindtaxhelp.com. Once again, it’s peaceofmindtaxhelp.com.
Stacey Brown Randall: Perfect. And I will put the link to both of those plus some of your social media handles as well in the show notes for this episode. So anyone who’s interested can just go to the show notes page for this episode and everything about you will be right there for them, Randall. But thank you so much for taking the time to join me today to talk about referrals, why they’re so important, and of course, about this program, BRB, Building a Referable Business. I appreciate you.
Stacey Brown Randall: What a fabulous interview with Randall. I’m so thankful that he gave his time to join us today. I loved what he mentioned about when he works with a coach, he has that structure and the access to go faster and further. And I think that is the truth.
When we make the decision to invest in our business, we want to make sure that when we have questions that the roadblocks can be removed.
And that was my intentionality of how I built BRB, the coaching program, is that I wanted to give you the information that you needed, the strategies, the resources, the templates, the checklists, the things that you needed, the what you say, the what you do, when and how you do it. But also make sure that I’m available on an ongoing basis so that we can get your questions answered and get you moving forward faster.
So the resources from Randall’s company, from his two companies that he mentioned in the show, we will link them to the show notes page for this episode, which is staceybrownrandall.com/277. That staceybrownrandall.com/277.
And let me also just say, if you’re thinking to yourself, is it possible for me to have the same type of success that Randall has had in his first six months by almost tripling his referrals in just six months, didn’t even take him a year. He’s almost there, tripling his referrals, and then of course, almost tripling the revenue as well from the return on an investment within BRB.
If you’re wondering if that’s possible for you, the answer is yes, it is possible for you. It depends on where you’re starting from, depends on if you’ll do the work.
But the other thing is and Randall talked about this, is his willingness to have his mindset shifted away from those old strategies like asking and being gimmicky and being open to putting in place, putting in practice, to executing on new strategies when it comes to referrals.
Sometimes people think what holds them back from getting more referrals is the not knowing the what to do, what to say, when to do it. And yes, that’s probably a part of it.
But you first just have got to shift your mindset to understand that there is a better way to generate referrals, and being open to that first will always be your starting point to the success that you deserve.
All right, coming up next week is episode 278. And we’re taking a different perspective on building a referable business.
Until then, you know what to do my friend, take control of your referrals and build a referable business. Bye for now.