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Why I approach referrals as research

I hate asking for referrals.

Maybe it’s because every time the idea pops up, a hundred stories of “hard sell” tactics well up in the back of my mind.
“Write down the names and telephone numbers of five people you can introduce me to, and I’ll be right back with the document for you to sign”
“If I work with you, I want you to introduce me to three of your friends who you think will become great clients”
“For each referral you make, we give you a bottle of champagne”
Urgghh.
People don’t refer their friends and family to do US a favour. Why would they?
They invest too much time building those relationships, value them too greatly, and care too much about losing them to trade them in for the odd bottle of Mumm.
We refer our friends, family, and colleagues to people we think can help THEM.
If you have clients who talk to their friends, family, and colleagues about money (which 40% of people do, according to research), chances are the topic of what they need help with will come up.
(If they don’t… well… chances are they’re not going to refer, right?)
So, how can you ensure that when the topic of help comes up, your name enters the frame?
Well, first you’ve got to find out what “help” is.
I’ve created a number of scripts around doing this (plus training on how to deliver it), but it all boils down to one simple idea…
…when you treat “asking” for referrals more like research than a request, it gets a whole lot easier.
No champagne required (or wanted).
apg

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