Our Greatest Referral Fear

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One of the lessons I learned in writing The Referral Engine is that one of greatest reasons people don’t ask for referrals is fear.

I often push back on this fear by asking if they’ve ever considered that asking for a deserved referral is actually quite a generous act.

I’ve shared the quote below from Marianne Williamson’s A Return to Love with lots of people and it seems to mean many different things, but I think it can be taken in the context of this conversation as well. (If the use of the word God offends or threatens, don’t let that be the focus of the message, that’s not my point.)

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So, if you have a fear of asking for referral, or maybe you just don’t want to ask for referrals than don’t – simply give them.

This video is a clip from a Fox Business Show that I did more than a year ago and I think it sums that idea up nicely.


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  1. John – A fabulous idea in the video for how to start building a homegrown networking group. I think the Realtors I work with on a daily basis could easily implement this idea to not only learn more about the vendors and companies in and around their local markets that their clients appreciate and support, they could begin to build new relationships in the process.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. A great post John. If only more people would do this. Your present and past clients should be the best referral sources if you did your job.

  3. With more and more business getting bad reviews from one pissed off customer. It even more important to do what we are talking about here. This is freaking critical. If your a local business and your not doing this, your just not in the game, and i feel your risking too much,

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