While I often teach specific referral strategies, other opportunities may arise in your business that can be used to generate referrals. By applying what I call the “Stacey lens” to these situations, you can identify these opportunities and create a referral-focused approach.
Some examples of these unique opportunities are launching a new website, hitting a milestone anniversary, switching brokerages, attending conferences, and hosting events. Each presents a chance to communicate with your network and plant referral seeds. These should not be seen solely as marketing moments but as opportunities to deepen connections and build referral relationships.
Think beyond traditional prospecting and marketing strategies and consider referrals a separate leg of your sales strategy. By keeping your eyes open and thinking creatively, you can identify these unique opportunities and develop a plan to leverage referrals within them.
Stacey Brown Randall: You know about generating referrals from specific people, like your existing referral sources or those potential soon-to-be referral sources. You know about creating a referable client experience and having the language you need in different situations to plant referral seeds or flip almost referrals into referrals. It’s something we talk about all the time, and of course, I work with my clients on. But there is something you’re missing, and it’s leveraging referrals in a unique way.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 296 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.
In my world of all things referrals, I teach a number of strategies. If you’ve been through my live private three-part framework training, which is how I teach folks, how I help my clients double, triple, or quadruple their referrals, you know that in fact, I teach 19 different referral strategies.
Some are focused on the people who are or can refer you, our referral sources. Some are focused on the buyer’s journey or strategies focused on the client experience. And some of those referral strategies are focused on your networking or social media.
And of course, I’m leaving a few out. Well, there are 19 of them. And that, of course, is not said to overwhelm you. The simple reality is, most businesses that work with me inside my VIP, Referrals in a Day offer, or my BRB, Building a Referable Business coaching program, will never need all 19.
They may, depending on how their business shifts and changes, but for most folks, they’re not going to implement 19 strategies. But they are there because when I receive questions from my clients and I start answering the same question more than once, I’m like, okay, that’s a clue to me. That probably needs to be its own standalone training, which is why we now have 19.
But here’s the thing, you might not have considered that there are more ways, other ways, different ways to generate referrals that are just really unique to what’s happening. So to figure those out though, you’re probably going to have to apply what I call the “Stacey lens” to what’s happening and the things happening inside your business.
Now the ‘Stacey lens” gets applied a lot in my coaching program and when I’m working with my VIP clients. Because they’ll say something that happens in their business or they’ll say something that has happened to them recently or a situation they experienced or something they come across all the time and I will instantly put on the “Stacey lens” and I will go, wait, hang on, wait a minute. We can use that opportunity for referrals.
And that could be by using an existing strategy or sometimes changing the language up to plant referral seeds or just look at things a little bit differently. Because when I learn something that is happening in my client’s business, my brain really, it can’t, it just can’t help itself. It’s like, wait a minute, wait, there may be an opportunity here. Now there’s not always an opportunity, but sometimes there is.
The first time this happened was when a client mentioned they were going to launch a brand-new website. Now, I have had clients over the years do websites. And so my brain has always kind of been like, hey, we need to talk about this, right? We need to think about this.
But in my coaching program, because I get to spend time with my clients, and even if they’re a VIP, they have unlimited access to me, but because I spend time with them, I see these things coming long before they actually come.
So I’m actually remembering this from a number of years ago. And I remember when my client said, hey, I’m doing a brand-new website. And I said, hey, how do you plan to tell people that you have a brand-new website? And she was like, I’m not there yet. Like, I haven’t started thinking about that part yet, because this brand-new website, overhaul of her existing, brand-new website was going to be a very measured approach.
It was going to be done, well just beautifully to be honest. Her website now is just beautiful, but she was going to take her time and she was working with another company and there was a number of things in the process, and we were looking at a probably a 12-month process.
This wasn’t like a disappointment to her, right? Like, this is what she wanted. This is what she signed up for. So we knew this was going to be post a year, right? So we had time.
But here I am at the very beginning of this just being like, hey, I’m going to do this. And I’m going to start sometime this year. And it’ll be ready sometime next year, maybe the year after. I’m like, whoa, wait. How do you plan to tell people? And she’s like, I’m not there yet, Stacey. Fair enough. I totally get that.
But this was a need. that she knew she was going to handle. Because when I brought it up, like, hey, how are we going to tell people? She was like, okay, we’ll add that to the list, right? And in fairness to her, me jumping to the end of the process where she’s just starting to tell me, hey, this is on my docket to do at some point this year and will probably take more than a year for me to do based on what she was wanting to do, of course.
And then, of course, life gets in the way and things don’t always go according to the timeline. I was already jumping into the process, so fair enough to her. She was like, hey, wait, let me just get through this big undertaking first, and then we’ll talk about how I’m going to share it.
And the good news is it’s because my clients trust me, she agreed that before she started telling anyone about her new live website, we would chat about leveraging the opportunity.
In all, my client and I, she’s an architect, I don’t think I said that earlier, but in all, my client and I created a six-part communication strategy of what she would say and how she would deliver the message to different groups of people.
And it was very specific to, of course, we were sharing about the new website, but we were also using that as an opportunity to plant referral seeds and to really form deeper connections with people.
But as they fell into like these different groups of people, which is why we had this six-part communication strategy. Actually, it may have been a little bit more than that after she kind of dug into it. And that was all just from a new website. She was going to do this new website.
Obviously, you communicate on some level to people that you’ve done a new website. I mean, some people do it quietly behind the scenes. Of course, that’s a specific reason.
And then other people do it, and they’re like, let me tell the world that I’ve got this new website. I want to tell my clients. I want to tell the vendors that I work with, my trade partners. I want to tell my prospects, like everybody, when you do a new website, right? And so it just depends.
Like you may have done a website in the past and made that transition and done it very quietly. I have definitely done that. And then you may have done a website in the past where you’ve made it different, and you wanted to talk about it, and it was valuable for you to share this new website.
And when you think about an opportunity like this, it really depends on how you want to share it, whether or not, my brain is going to be like, whoa, wait, there’s an opportunity here. And because this client is like a dream client for me, because she does what we talk about doing. She knocks it out. She gets it done. Like, I love that.
She did every single outreach by group. personalized when it needed to be, specific when it needed to be. And not every group was like hundreds of people in each group. Like some groups were like, hey, for these six people, we’re going to do it this way. But for this big group of folks, we’re going to do it differently, right?
So we had different mechanisms and different language and different objectives and different ways to talk about the website, but also deepen and strengthen the connection and the relationship within the reason for this outreach being, hence, the new website. And she did it because she’s amazing.
So there are other examples that are more like this, that are more likely to maybe be one-off events in your business’s timeline. Or at least, I guess for sake of argument, they just don’t happen every year or every other year. I mean, I hope you’re not having to do a new website every year or every other year because that would be exhausting, specifically the way that she did it.
But these one-off events that happen within your business timeline, they do offer unique opportunities to generate some referrals or definitely plant referral seeds, so people start thinking about you from a referral perspective and for future referrals to happen.
So this is about you thinking about, yes, there are specific ways that I teach, 19, in fact, strategies of how to build out the right foundation, have the right language, do the right things to be able to generate referrals in your business.
But then there are just these things that happen in your business timeline that are unique. And if you’re open to it, if you’ve got your eyes open and your referral “Stacey lens” on, you may find there are other things happening in your business that are unique and may only come around once, once a lifetime of a business, or maybe more than that, for you to actually capitalize on.
So other one-offs would include hitting a big anniversary milestone. Maybe you hit 10 years, or 20 years, or 25 years, or 50 years. Maybe it’s five years for you, whatever it is.
I don’t mean like, I’m six years, my business is six years old. Hey, look, my business is seven years old. I don’t mean it like that. I mean, there’s a reason, there’s something that’s more of a one-off, you’re hitting a big milestone.
Of course, these big milestones, like hitting the one-year mark, five-year mark, 10-year mark, 20-year mark, 25-year mark, right? Those happen, of course, every five to 10 years, but they’re not happening every year, is my point, because there are more of these one-offs.
Same thing with this new website. That’s not to say she’s not going to tweak and add to her website, but this was a massive overhaul of what she had going in a different direction for what she ultimately wanted.
Another example would be like if you’re a real estate agent and maybe you’re switching brokerages. Please know there is a way to communicate that and message that. Please know that, in terms of the opportunity to plant referral seeds and to leverage referral opportunities.
And it’s not like, let me just say this, because every single person I do this with, that’s a client of mine, that’s in my coaching program or my VIP client, every single client I do this with, it is different.
There is no cookie cutter approach here, folks. It is specific to, like, let’s just take something like you would think is very generic, like a real estate agent switching brokerages, because you guys do it if you’re an agent listening, right? And if you know any real estate agent, you’ve probably known them to switch a brokerage.
They don’t do it every year, not normally, right? But it is a shift that typically happens within the career of a real estate agent, and it may happen more than once. Probably not happen five or six times in their career as an agent, but it’s probably going to happen once or twice, right?
And so there’s no cookie cutter. It’s not like, oh, you’re an agent switching brokerages. Here’s how we message that. We really want to look at the who are we telling? How do they matter to you? What do we want to share? What’s the reason for this change?
What’s the reason for the new website? Hey, I hit 20 years in business. That is the reason, right? But why have the switch to a brokerage? We want to take all the things that are important in making that messaging happen. Because changing brokerages, or doing a new website, or hitting a big milestone, when you think about it, there’s still like marketing, right? There’s still moments for marketing. But I don’t look at it that way.
I’m like, I know you’re going to market the fact you have a new website. I know you’re going to market the fact you’ve hit 20 years in business. I know you’re going to market the fact that you have switched brokerages or whatever it is.
But that’s not how I’m looking at it. I’m not looking at it from a marketing perspective. I’m looking at it from a referral perspective, which means it gives us an opportunity to communicate some things differently and use that as an opportunity for a connection point as well, which means who you are, what you do, why you’re doing it, the space in which you’re doing it, the timetable for you doing it, the reason why you’re doing it, all those things impact the messaging that I help create.
But I do it from a referral lens, which means this isn’t marketing. Marketing is different from referrals. Just like prospecting is different from marketing and referrals marketing is different from prospecting and referrals. They’re all different.
It’s three legs to your stool. You’ve got a prospecting leg, a marketing leg, and a referrals leg. All three legs are needed to sit on a stool that is not wobbly. And this is overall your sales strategy stool. It’s got three legs to it, right?
So most people are like, oh, yeah, just use it as a marketing opportunity. Yes, and. This is a yes, and we can use it as a referral opportunity, too. But most people are just so down in the weeds or just so busy or just trying to check things off the box that they forget to think, wait, let me just take a minute. Let me pause. Let me look around. Is there a way for me to do something referral specific within this moment?
And when my clients tell me, hey, this is what’s coming up, I’m like, hey, I want a piece of that. It’s usually how I say it. I want to be a part of that. Don’t do that without me. I want to help you with the messaging from a referral perspective. I can sometimes be a little pushy, I guess, to my clients. But they love me because it’s for their betterment. It’s good for them, right?
And we’re not like, hey, like my client who did a new website. It wasn’t like she did this like six-part communication strategy from a referral perspective to these different groups to do it in a different way. It wasn’t like we were doing that and then we expected 15 referrals to show up the next week.
We know this is a long-term play. We know we’re playing the long game here. But all these moments matter to build up what we’re ultimately after. But a one-off thing like this, like hitting a big milestone, maybe switching brokerages, maybe doing a website or something like that, while it may not be the only time you ever do it as a one-off, they are things that don’t happen all the time.
So that’s one way to consider things that are going on in your business that you can truly, truly leverage these unique opportunities for an opportunity to keep the referral story going, which is very, very important and just something I don’t want you to overlook. But it’s not the only ones that we have opportunities to leverage in unique ways.
Hey there, pardon the interruption. The roadmap to your referral explosion, it exists, and it’s waiting on you. You just gotta take the next step. Whether you wanna work with me in my coaching program, Building a Referable Business, or maybe you wanna talk to me about what it looks like to work with me one-on-one in my VIP Referrals in a Day offering, your first stop is to complete an application.
If you’re interested in my coaching program, Building a Referable Business, or if you’re interested in my VIP offer, Referrals in a Day, just go to the show notes page for this episode and you’ll find the links to check out both programs and then submit an application if you’re interested. Now, back to the episode.
So other unique opportunities to plant referral seeds that I’ve shared with clients through my work with them, is it’s really making sure that we’re just leveraging opportunities that are just coming.
So for example, I have a director of business development in my coaching program, and he was like, hey, it’s fall. So this was, of course, last year. He was like, hey, it’s fall. I’m hitting conferences. I’m going to start going to a lot of conferences.
He’s a director of business development. He knows how to work a conference. This is not the question. The question is, he knows how to have prospecting strategies and marketing strategies as he attends these different conferences.
But he was lubing back around with me to be like, hey, I’m pretty sure there’s also things I need to be planning for and being on the lookout for from a referral perspective. What are those?
So because my clients in my coaching program and in my VIP offer, they get one-on-one time with me, we hopped on a call and I said, okay, here’s the things I want you to consider. And he took notes and was ready to go.
Another type of unique opportunity to generate referrals with planting referral seeds is actually the events that you do. Now, this is different than if you’re doing like an event like every single month and it’s just like a networking event that you go to or that you host. I don’t mean those, right?
I mean like your business is having an event, like a client appreciation event, or maybe an event for referral sources, or maybe there’s a different type of event where you’re pulling together different groups. But I’m not talking about, hey, this is our weekly networking event, or this is our monthly networking event. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about your company putting on an event.
Most of the time I see it as client appreciation. I always tell folks, like, hey, I actually have five things I want you to do when you are doing an event like that to help you leverage the referral ROI on that event.
But these are things that happen before the event, during the event, and after the event. And they’re not complicated, and they’re not hard, and they’re little, tiny to-dos, really. But it’s because I know, because I can’t help it, but the “Stacey lens” just turns on, even when I don’t want it to.
I can be just reading a book that has nothing to do with business, and then I will get hit with an idea about something from a referral perspective. It is just how my brain works. I actually love it, and then sometimes it’s annoying. But most of the time, I’m just super grateful for it.
But these are all the things that that’s how my brain works. So when I am working with my clients, and they’re like, hey, this is happening in my world, I’m like, hold up. How are we going to message that? Like, that’s really important that we think through messaging that, and then also making sure we’re messaging that from a referral perspective.
And I have had clients that are moving to another country. Hey, how are we messaging that? You may not be doing that more than once. So let’s make sure we get the messaging right. And the messaging may, depending on the situation, the conference strategy is different from a moving countries, which is different from having an event, which is different from I’ve hit my 25 year anniversary in business, which is different from I got a new website.
Like, what you’re doing, what this unique opportunity is that you’re doing, defines what we will then do and build and create for leveraging referrals. But I don’t know what they are, right? Unless my clients are telling me.
And when it’s when they’re telling me, I’m like, okay, hey, when the time is right, I want to be a part of that. Like, don’t do that without me. I want to be a part of that. Because I know there is an opportunity for me to help you extend your ability to leverage referrals in that opportunity. I just want to be a part of it. And that’s what I get to do for my clients.
So I want you thinking about this though, right? I want you thinking about what’s on the docket for the rest of this year in 2024. What’s on the docket for the things that are actually going to be different that you are doing in your business?
Like last episode, right? Last week’s episode, 295, last week’s episode, we talked about the must-have referral strategies for this year because things are changing and we do need to be prepared to understand things, right? And to see things differently and to be able to understand how things are shifting. This is just a growth of that.
Like, okay, and now here’s the next thing that I want you to consider when you’re considering the referral strategies you want to put in place or the tactics or the to-dos or however you want to talk about it or think about it. But look for those unique opportunities that very well could have your hiding right there in plain sight, an opportunity for you to leverage referrals.
And here’s the thing I want you to understand, and I’ll close with this. I wasn’t born knowing what these opportunities would be and how I would ultimately help my clients leverage them for referrals.
But I do keep my eyes open for them and then specifically think about how can we use those moments to incorporate referrals. That’s it. That’s all I do.
Now, I know, I have been teaching and strategizing and helping clients with referrals for over a decade. I get that this stuff comes really easy to me, and I get that people say something and I’m like, oh, do this. And they’re like, where’d you come up with that? I’m like, I don’t know, it just came to me. Because that’s my zone of genius, right? I know that.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do this too if you’ll just take a minute and pause and think about it. Think about, hey, maybe I could figure out how to use that opportunity to incorporate referrals. And then get a piece of paper and a pen or a pencil and map out some ideas. And if you need help, great, let me know. That’s what I’m here for.
But you can do the same, but you’re going to have to start paying attention and opening your mind up and thinking about this differently than just a prospecting or just a marketing or just a sales opportunity. Because referrals are different from all of that, even though referrals lead to sales.
Okay, you can find what we talked about, including the transcript of this episode, on the show notes page, which is StaceyBrownRandall.com/296. We are back with another great episode next week created with you and your referral needs in mind. Until then, you know what to do, my friend. Take control of your referrals and build a referral business. Bye for now.