Ep #306: What Potential Referral Sources Need You to Know

Ep #306: What Potential Referral Sources Need You to Know

Are you neglecting potential referral sources without even realizing it? When seeking referrals, understand that the people you are reaching out to are living, breathing, and feeling individuals. They are not just potential sources of referrals but human beings who crave genuine connections.

Here are a few things to remember:

Genuine Connections Matter: Building genuine connections with potential referral sources is essential. People crave authenticity and meaningful relationships. By taking time to get to know them and truly care about their needs, you can lay the foundation for a strong referral network.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Cultivating referral sources takes time and patience. Don’t rush the process or expect immediate results. By being willing to go slow, listen, and provide value without expecting anything in return, you set the stage for long-term referral success.

Don’t Ask for Referrals: Remember, you never earn the right to ask for a referral. Referrals are not owed to you; they come from trust, value, and genuine relationships. Focus on delivering exceptional service and building strong connections. The referrals will naturally follow.

Cultivating genuine connections for referrals is a process that requires patience, authenticity, and a willingness to give before receiving. By approaching relationships with a genuine interest in the other person and focusing on building strong connections, you can increase your chances of receiving referrals in a meaningful and sustainable way.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and whether you found the stream of consciousness format engaging. Feel free to share your feedback with me!

Links Mentioned During the Episode:

Download the 30 Ways to Take Control of Your Referrals and keep it handy as you build the right foundation for more referrals!

Learn how to work with me inside my Building a Referable Business™ coaching program.  Check out the program and then apply to see if you’re a fit.

Want me to build your Referral Strategy for you? Then check out my VIP Referrals In A Day service where I handle the heavy lifting for you. First step is to apply to see if you’re a fit and then we’ll schedule a call.  (*A minimum of a 2-person team is required for this Done-For-You service.)

Next Episode:

Next episode is #307, which is another episode created with you and your needs in mind.

Download The Full Episode Transcript

Read the Transcript Below:

Stacey Brown Randall: There are a few things that the people who may refer you in the future need you to know.

Hey there, and welcome to episode 306 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.

Well, as we get to the end of April, we are winding down on our 30 Ways to Take Control of your Referrals. You can still follow along and catch up on my LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook channels. Also, you can download all 30 ways in one snazzy infographic image at StaceyBrownRandall.com/30ways. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn 30 ways to take control of your referrals once and for all.

So I’ve never done an episode like this, or at least I’ve never done an episode like this that I can remember. And I’ve been doing this podcast now for, well, 306 episodes, which is over five years. And well, in those five years, I’ve gotten older. So there’s a chance that maybe I have done an episode like this and I do not recall it.

But I don’t believe I have. I’ve got a pretty sharp memory when it comes to some things. Not all things, but some things. And I don’t think I’ve ever done an episode like this. So this episode will be a little different. It’s more of a stream of consciousness that I jotted down recently after an encounter that I had with someone.

So what I want to do is I want to give you the backstory and then kind of unleash my stream of consciousness that I wrote down and anything else that comes up as I am going through my stream of consciousness. We’ll just have to see together how this episode goes. All right, you ready? Okay, let’s do this.

The backstory. I recently had someone join my online program, Referring Machines. Now, currently, depending on when you’re listening to this, the Referring Machines program may or may not be available to you. It is April of 2024, and we are doing some changes and shifts and evolutions inside my business.

And so some of the programs that I offer, like my a la carte individual online trainings of individual strategies, may or may not be available in the future. Don’t worry, they’re going to be replaced with something else to kind of help you get a jump start on referrals. So I guess that’s a little bit of a teaser right there, but nothing’s done or available. So I can’t even send you to a link to tease what this is going to be about because I’m still building it.

But at the time of this recording, a few of my foundational strategies and a couple of my situational strategies over the years has been available as like an a la carte. Like, hey, I just want to learn this one strategy of Stacey’s.

Now, all 19 strategies that I teach currently, that number is always increasing, but of the 19 strategies that I teach now, all of them are available inside my coaching program and my VIP level, depending on what my clients need. Nobody needs all 19 of them, but they have access to all of them depending on their needs. But I also recognize that the coaching program and the VIP level isn’t right for everybody.

So for the last number of years, I have had some of my individual foundational strategies available that you could say, hey, I just want to learn, how does Stacey teach getting more referrals from the people who already refer you? And so that’s my training program, Growth by Referrals, and it’s available in everything I do.

But it’s also available for just being able to have access and purchase and invest in that one program. Same thing with one of my other foundational trainings, which is called Referring Machines. The official title is How to Turn Clients and Contacts into Referring Machines. But for short, we just call it Referring Machines. Or when you’re in the know, like in the program, we call it RM, because we abbreviate everything.

So there is, as of now, at the time of this recording, you could decide by going onto my website that, hey, I just want to join Referring Machines. I just want to learn this one strategy. And so I was having a conversation with somebody who had decided to invest in Referring Machines.

And when we were on the call talking, he had reached out to say, I don’t think this is what I expected, and I’m not sure this is going to work for me. And when someone says that about a training of mine, it does not happen often.

Sometimes people are like, I’m unsure until they really dig in, and then they’re like, just kidding. This is going to be great. But at first blush, sometimes when you look at something, you’re like, wait a minute. Did I make the right choice? We all do that. No business is immune from that.

So when he reached out and he was like, hey, I’m not sure this is what I thought it would be, and if it’s going to work for me, my initial response is always, OK, let’s talk about it. Tell me more about that. Like, I need to understand. And so we got on a call, and it was great.

What I was informed that this client was looking for was a play-by-play, step-by-step, word-for-word script of exactly how to have meetings with people that he wishes would refer to him. And I asked him, and I said, okay, wait, so word for word, like a script, like, what do you mean?

And he said, well, like I say this about the work that I do. And then I tell them this about the type of people they could be referring to me, or I say this in terms of who my ideal client is.

Now, I’m paraphrasing some of this conversation, but this was the overall gist of it is like, I just want the, here’s exactly what I say. Here’s the exact outline of how this meeting should go. And this is the flow that I take them through.

Now, a little bit of this has to do with the industry that he is in, like very structured conversations of how they’re learning to do what they do. And so I said, OK, why do you think that would be helpful?

And he said, well, I’ve been in a training before, and I got a script of exactly how to have these meetings with people that I want to refer to me. And I was told like what to say and how to tell them who to refer to me and how to explain my ideal client and tell them how to refer to me. And I just, you know, these coffee meetings, like I would follow the script, and this is what I would do.

And I was like, how many of these meetings have you had? And to be fair, it was like, he told me he had had 200 of them. That wasn’t the number. That is a slight exaggeration, but it was a lot. And I said, OK, so you’ve had a lot of these conversations with this play-by-play of exactly how you quote, unquote train the people that you want to refer to you to refer to you.

And he was like, yes. I’m like, and how many of those people ultimately ended up referring to you? And he laughed. And I said, I think that’s why you’re here. I think you’re conditioned, and you believe that there has to be a very specific script of, here are the 17 things I say in a row, and here are how the people are going to respond, and then here’s the results that are going to come from that.

And that, my friend, is not how this works. One, that’s not how this works in terms of how I teach. I will never tell you, say this, then this, then this. This is how they’ll respond. This is the results. This is what you should do. And effectively, this person was telling them, you need to ask them for the referrals. You need to tell them who to refer to you. You need to tell them that’s the expectation of this relationship.

And here comes where the stream of consciousness comes in after I had this conversation with this gentleman. But before I get to the stream of consciousness, what I said to him was, no referral source or potential referral source, the person who may refer you or could consider referring you in the future wants that from you.

And that’s why with the hundred or so coffee meetings you’ve had over the last year or so, it hasn’t worked. Because if it did work, we’d all be following the same script and we’d all be having all the referrals and we’d be like, this is easy. I just say these 17 things and then boom, I got a referral.

It doesn’t work that way. And here’s why it doesn’t work that way. Because on the receiving end, on the other end of that table when you’re sitting down for coffee, or the other end of that Zoom virtual meeting on the screen, on the receiving end of everything you’re saying is a human.

A live, living, breathing, predictably irrational, feeling human. And that is what’s typically forgotten when people teach about referrals. Everything I do comes from the place of how is the person receiving this, hearing this, having this said to them, how are they going to respond? That’s empathizing and understanding how something you’re doing is going to land on the other person.

And I believe that is one of the biggest things that is completely overlooked when people teach referrals today. They teach what’s good for them. They teach what works. Like, you’re going to do this, and these are the results you’re going to get because you deserve them, or you are earning that right to them. And that is just not how it works, my friends. It’s not how it works at all.

The new client and I ended this call in a great way. I was like, this is why that doesn’t work. And so I broke it down for him as to why that doesn’t work. And then I explained to him what he’ll learn in the training and then explain to him based on what he’ll learn, how he will apply it. And then probably what this will look like, meaning not necessarily fast results for this specific strategy.

This is not my low hanging fruit strategy. I have other strategies that are more likely to get you referrals faster. This is not one of them. Now, does that mean, I mean, does it work sometimes for people to get referrals very quickly after working to cultivate a new person into referring them? Yes.

I have an interior designer that I work with who had a couple of meetings with a couple of builders and got a couple of referrals and closed a couple of deals and it happened within like 30 to 60 days. That is not typically how it works, right? Like, that’s amazing and awesome, and other people can have that success, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to have that success.

And so when I was able to share with him about, here’s what you’ve been told, here’s why it doesn’t work, here’s how it violates the relationship you’re building and the science behind referrals and those pieces that you need to know, I said, and then within Referring Machines, here’s what you’re going to learn.

And he was like, oh, I’ll learn all that in the training? I’m like, yes. I was like, but you’ve got to give yourself a chance to go through it. You can’t look at something at first blush and not really pay attention to it. And then I said, here’s the other thing, most people have to go back and watch that training twice, because you will hear things differently, and you will hear things you missed the second time around.

Because we are talking about people and relationships, and there are sometimes nuances involved. And as I kept reflecting on the conversation that I had with this business owner, here are some other thoughts that I have. And this relates to your potential referral sources. Those people, whether they’re your clients, your centers of influence, people in your network, that you want to refer you, but they’ve never done it.

The people that you wish would refer you. Wow, that person is so connected. If I could get them to start referring me, that would just open up a new group of people that could be referred to me as clients. These are the people; we call them potentials or soon-to-be referral sources because they haven’t done it yet. And there is a strategy and a process that I teach about how you cultivate someone who’s never referred you into a referral source.

And you will never bat perfect batting average. I was going to use the numbers, and then I realized I don’t actually know what the number is for a perfect batting average. Is it like a thousand? Five hundred? I don’t know. Anyway, moving on. That’s embarrassing. As a baseball fan as I am, you would think that I would know that. But I do not bother myself with, I guess, those kinds of details when it comes to baseball.

But my point is that even when you decide these 20 people would be amazing referral sources, you will not close all 20 of them into referral sources. They will not all become referral sources. It may be a very much smaller percentage than you anticipate. So it’s a process, right? Nothing good is typically easy and fast. It takes time to cultivate these relationships.

But when someone starts referring you, and then keeps referring you, and they refer you for that first time, and then they keep referring you, you’re like, this was worth it. Completely and totally worth it.

So here is what I want to talk about. This is kind of where the stream of consciousness begins. And this is what I wrote down. And I’m literally just going to riff off of what I wrote down when I was in the car, probably at a carpool, waiting on a kid to get in my car. And I was thinking through really everything that I wanted to say that at the time of that call couldn’t articulate that I feel needs to be said.

And this is about your potential referral sources. Your potential referral sources, to them, everybody wants something. So their guard is typically up. What they’re looking for, what they’re craving is genuine connections. Or really, what’s the point?

We can all do 7 million cups of coffee, and they mean nothing. But if we’re going to put in the time and the energy to meet somebody new or connect with somebody we kind of know but not really know, or somebody we’ve met a few times but don’t really know, we’re craving genuine connections.

But we’re anticipating that you want something from us. Because everyone is busy. Nobody has nothing on their plate, particularly if who you want to refer to you is another busy business owner, or employee who works at a job, or even if the person you want to refer to you is a stay-at-home mom who is also probably the president of like 14 organizations. Because God bless stay-at-home moms, the world would not revolve on its axis without them.

It doesn’t matter what they do. Everyone is busy. But we also feel like when we meet someone new that sometimes, what is it that you want? We’re like sizing people up. What is it that you want? So our guard is up. But what we really want is genuine connections. But we’re anticipating is that you’re going to come to us with whatever you need, and it’s not going to be a genuine connection for us.

So be willing to go slow. This is like dating. Be willing to go slow. Get to know the person. Listen for ways you can help. Don’t look at them and say, by the end of this conversation, I’ll have a referral. Or by the end of this conversation, you will give me two referrals within two weeks.

Don’t do that. Don’t be that person. You’re better than that. The easiest pattern interrupt that you can do is to look, act, and speak differently than others in your industry. And by look, I don’t mean the way you look when you look in the mirror. I mean by the way you show up, by the way you act, by the way you speak. Be different, which is really like saying be better.

Being really, really busy and then also ignoring our growing relationships is also no excuse. We have to give first before we can receive. Bob Berg was not wrong when he wrote The Go-Giver. If you haven’t read it, you probably should.

The truth is most people have fits and starts to developing and cultivating relationships. And if that’s you, you need to take a hard look in the mirror and say, if I really want to cultivate someone into a referral source, I’m going to have to be willing to set aside my objective of referrals and really focus on getting to know this person and caring about this person and cultivating a relationship.

And I got to be willing to go slow, and I got to be willing to let it take time because their guard is probably up. And what they really want is a genuine connection. So I’m going to show up and be different and provide that genuine connection and not be right there asking them to do something for me and have my hand out. That’s what they want.

Do you want to know what is one of the hardest things for me to help you overcome? If you ever decide to work with me, one of the hardest things for me to help you overcome when it comes to generating referrals. You want to know what it is? OK, well, hang on. We’ve got to do the pardon the interruption first.

Stacey Brown Randall: Hey there, pardon the interruption. Ever wondered how a current member of my Building a Referable Business coaching program would describe their experience? Well, I wondered, so I asked them. Here’s how members of my Building a Referable Business coaching program would describe their experience in one word.

Client: If I had to describe BRB in one word, it would be transformative. It really changes the way that you look at your interactions with the people who can provide business for you.

Client: I would define BRB in one word as a community. It’s always a positive experience. She’s extremely, well, she’s very organized. She makes everything seem easy, even when it’s not actually easy. And she’s extremely motivating.

Client: Defining BRB in one word would be relationships.

Client: BRB, in one word, effective. If you’re looking for an effective program, BRB is it. If you’re looking for a great, knowledgeable expert and cheerleader, then Stacey’s definitely the person to work with.

Client: If I could define BRB in one word, it would be elevate, because it’s certainly elevated my business.

Client: BRB means progress to me. What I would say to someone, the reason to join BRB, is if you’re in a business that’s a referral business, and that’s the most important piece of your business, then I can’t think of a better way to invest in it than invested it in the best authority when it comes to referral business. Stacey.

Stacey Brown Randall: Want to join us inside the coaching program, Building a Referable Business or BRB for short? Go to StaceyBrownRandall.com/referable to learn about the program and click on the link to submit your application. Okay, now back to the episode.

Stacey Brown Randall: One of the hardest things for me to help you overcome, so let me put this in context. When people show up and they’re like, help me get referrals, there’s lots of things I’m going to teach you. There’s lots of things you’re going to do different. There’s some mindset shifts you’re going to have to make. There’s some slowing down to speed up that you’re going to have to do, right? There’s all the things, right?

Because I do not teach surface, I was thinking of another word there, but I don’t teach surface results. I teach things that go deep and have lasting impact. It’s why when I talk about my clients who have five years, seven years, nine years of results, it’s because we build lasting things, lasting changes, lasting processes within your business.

And you gotta be all in. From your mindset, to your commitment, to your consistency, to doing what I say. But one of the hardest things that I know this, one of the hardest things for me to help others overcome if I want to help them generate more referrals, it’s how you’ve treated, or more specifically, neglected those who could become your referral sources.

I know that’s sometimes really, really hard to hear, but it is very, very true, and something that we all need to understand. Now, you may be wondering, like, what do you mean, Stacey? Like, what do you mean, it’s hard for you to overcome how I may have treated people who could potentially be my referral sources.

And that’s because people usually use the excuse of, I’ve been busy, and I have been neglecting those that I could be building a relationship with all along, or I’ve even been neglecting those that actually have been referring clients to me as well, right?

Neglecting is the main problem, but to two different groups of people. But you can solve this. You can solve this. And I don’t mean the person who’s like, I neglect people because I’m dead inside and I don’t like people. I can’t help you. I don’t want to help you, actually.

I’m talking about the person who’s like, I genuinely care about other people. And I also genuinely care about getting referrals. And I’m willing to do the right authentic thing and be a good human and do the right thing, but also understand how the science works to be able to generate referrals. That’s the person I want to help.

But here’s the thing. Don’t overthink this. It’s thinking through how you can take better care of the people who are in your network that you want to refer to you and doing it in a way that is genuine and authentic and not like you’re demanding something from them. But don’t overthink this.

If you can’t put a process in place, then reach out to me and I can show you how to do it. This is what I teach my clients to do all day, every day. And here’s the last piece of the stream of consciousness I want to leave you with.

Please note, please remember, please don’t forget that you never earn the right to ask someone else for a referral.

If I’m your client, what you earn is the money that I agreed to pay you for the project or the job that I hired you to do. You don’t like deserve or earn in that case a referral from me. You can deserve that referral, but you don’t, it’s not owed to you, and you don’t get to ask me for it. That’s not part of the equation.

I have people who say I did an amazing job for that client. I have earned the right to ask them for a referral or I have been building this relationship with this person for a year or 10 years. I have earned the right to ask them for a referral.

That is the fastest way to make people not want to refer you. Because when you ask, you violate the science. And we have talked about that on episodes, and we’ll be talking about that on some upcoming episodes at some point. It’s part of the editorial calendar this year. So don’t do that.

Okay. Rant over. Stream of consciousness over. We’ll see what you guys thought of this episode. Maybe I’ll do less of them. Maybe I’ll never do another one. Maybe you’ll say, that was great. You should do more of those. Just get on there and tell us what you’re thinking, Stacey.

Alright. So the show notes episode for this page can be found at StaceyBrownRandall.com/306. And we’re back with another great episode next week created with you and your 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.

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