Uncomplicate the referral process

PGA golfer Freddie Couples was once asked how to make a hole-in-one. He looked at the interviewer and responded, “aim for the pin.” Unsatisfied, the reporter said that was good advice but he wanted to know more specifically how Couples could achieve such a rare feat.

The average golfer, said Couples, aims for the green. “I aim for the pin.”

The answer was simple. There were no deep roots in biomechanics or physics. Just like a child can solve a Rubik’s cube because he doesn’t over-think the challenge, we can find answers by simplifying our mindset.

The referral process is one system that has become far to complex. You might have tried to court referrals, buying their allegiance with gifts and incentives. In truth, the process to win referrals is far simpler than that. Here are four, no-cost methods that will earn you the referrals you want and need:

1. Be punctual. Show up on time, open your model on schedule (or earlier), keep your appointments, and call when you said you would. Never offer excuses. Being tardy communicates that your time is more valuable than your client’s. Quite simply, you appear indifferent.

2. Do what you say. In today’s culture, exceeding expectations has become the exception, not the norm. If you do what you say and fulfill your promises, you exceed expectations. If not, you’re perceived as negligent.

3. Finish what you start. Be committed to following a task to completion. Plod through the whole delivery process. If you skip steps or abandon the project, you’re sloppy.

4. Say “please” and “thank you”. Be polite and respectful. Otherwise, you’ll seem arrogant.

Put yourself in the place of the prospective referral source. If you encountered a salesperson who was indifferent, negligent, sloppy, and/or arrogant, would you be motivated to refer business in his direction? Customer satisfaction earns referrals. Do your job well and aim for the pin.

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