What Referrals Can Tell Us

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Referrals are great – especially when they quickly turn into a highly qualified, ideal client.

That’s the promise of a referred prospect really isn’t it? They’ve been made aware of you, told why they should like you and shown what you do that is different, valuable and trustworthy.

So, here’s a little tip. The next time someone calls you up and says, “so and so said I should contact you,” I want you to immediately call the referral source up and ask them why they referred you. You may have an idea, but it’s the actual words, at a point they still remember, that’s important. Many times we go through life thinking we know what the client values about our business, but often, I’ve found, it’s not what we think it is.

When someone goes to the trouble to refer a friend or colleague, there is a good chance they have a reason you should hear about. So, ask already – what makes you want to refer us, what do we do that’s unique, what do people say that makes you think of telling them about us? If you can capture some of this from a motivated referral source you may find clues to a simple core message you should be using in all of your marketing.

And there’s always a flip side – you may also discover that your referral sources don’t really know what you do well or, are actually communicating what you incorrectly. But, now you can go to work on fixing that.


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  1. I think this is great advice! In the last two weeks I had two clients send me referrals and had I known about this wonderful idea, I could have received great testimonials or ideas on what I was doing right for them.

    Perhaps I will e-mail now. Yes, that is what I will do and I’ll post back the results once I hear back!

    Thanks John – your blog is a great resource.

  2. That’s a great idea. I’ve never thought of calling back the referral source to ask why they referred our business. We get those calls maybe 4-5 times a month and this should help tremendously. Thanks!

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