How do I get more referrals

How To Get More Referrals By Doing One Thing

If you’re a business owner or sales rep, you’re probably looking for ways to get referrals for your business. One way to ensure you never get a referral is not treating people with respect.

A few examples of  NO  R E S P E C T:

  • A biz owner agreed to meet for a 12p networking lunch. I confirmed the meeting by email the week before and the day of. He never showed. He called 30 minutes after our scheduled appointment to say he wasn’t coming.
  • I attended a webinar and found the speaker extremely interesting. She had lots of start-up knowledge I thought would benefit clients. After connecting on social media, she messaged, “Let’s talk!” I responded promptly with a yes and typed “when?” It’s been weeks now and no response. I sent a second message. No respondo. No respect.
  • I carved out a telephone convo date with a new social media follower who said he’d be calling me. You guessed it. A no show. I sent a note asking what happened. He said he was waiting for me to call. I couldn’t, because I never had his number.

All of these situations could have been avoided if these people did what they said they were going to do. As a business person, you lose credibility by not doing the basics. Do you want to get more referrals? Read on.

A great example of  R E S P E C T:

This week, I had lunch with a Gen Y entrepreneur. To my surprise, as I walked into the cafe, she was already seated, busily marking up her At-A-Glance calendar.  Both of us left our cell phones in the car out of mutual respect. We were fully present. In the moment, I gave her a complimentary coaching session because of an important issue she was facing. She was so thankful and appreciative.

I’ll never be able to recommend the -no shows- to anyone in my circle of influence. I need to be confident you’re going to take care of the person I’m referring you to. The way you act, is a reflection on me. I value my reputation.

On the other hand, I’d recommend Ms. Gen Y in a heart beat. Her name is Allison Zales and she’s a passionate Change Management Consultant at Choose Change. She creates systems for individuals and businesses to declutter and increase productivity. If you’re in need of her services or know someone that does, her number is 315.263.6776.

Why am I confident to give her a referral after one meeting? Allison treated me with respect, and I know she’ll do the same for you. That’s all I need to know.

Have you had a similar experience? Tell me in the comments below.

Photo by duncan c.




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23 thoughts on “How To Get More Referrals By Doing One Thing”

  1. Steve,
    Nice post. Here’s a question for you. It’s been said that when a strength shows up too strong in an individual, that it can be considered a weakness. Can you think of a time when “Doing what you say you will do” could ever be a weakness?? (because I can’t) and this thought keeps bouncing around in my mind.

    1. Steve,
      I think I’m so interested because this question stumps me. The only answer I can come up with is if a person is so determined to do what they say they will do that they may sometimes end of “stepping on people’s toes” to accomplish the task– and thus be viewed not as a good leader but rather as a steam roller. What do you think of this? (I may be asking because “doing what I say I will do” is one of my strengths) 🙂

  2. Steve, I see this all to often. Some don’t see the realize the important impression they are making by not taking the commitments seriously. How a person respects others says so much about who they are. Thanks for writing this. Sure glad I showed up for our first phone call…. would have been a big miss.

  3. Steve,

    Excellent post on respect. Of course, if recommending an individual to your sphere of influence, respect is a high priority on the list as its the initial impression. Not to take away from Ms. Zales’ ability as I cannot formulate an opinion on that matter; it also takes much more than respect to achieve great results than business building, and that is results. You would not have promoted her based on this merit alone, or am I wrong in this case?

    1. I’m promoting her based on my sixth sense of knowing good character when I see it in working with perhaps over a thousand people over the years. I’m confident in her professional ability based on the experiences she shared. The respect she showed made it all the more compelling. It does take more than respect to generate confidence in a referral. I was also eager to help because she’s a new solopreneur looking to get traction. So, it was a combo of a number of factors.

      1. Understood. That question was not to undermine the idea of respect because without respect, you make no gains.

        As a follow-up to that, I see many professionals use the ‘fake it to make it’ mentality too meaning, they are being respectful but only because they see a dollar sign over their prospect’s head.

        Anyone with intuition can sense this a mile away and this also kills any business relationship.

    1. There is no other way to be. A potential partner/client will be able to sense authenticity. By focusing your intentions on the end result rather than the relationship building, you are setting yourself up to be a mockery. Do you disagree?

    1. It gets lost. I think those starting out in a career in sales/business can have all of the tools in the world given to them, but one tool of the trade which is severely lacking is how to properly prospect and that is through relationship building.

      I was mentored by someone out of North Carolina whom I’ve never physically met, but was introduced through him on the Linked In network. Like you, I have no problem recommending Jay Izso. He focused on consumer behavior and studied psychology during university. He always made the point, would you rather have someone on your team who focuses on behavior science in the workplace and in relationships or someone who is a number cruncher?

      I would personally rather have the former. It is this man who planted the seed of how necessary relationship-building is. It seems that this fact eludes many. Can you attribute a root cause to this?

  4. The majority of business was not like that 50-60 years ago, however. Perhaps there was a transitional period in which quarterly numbers and short-term focus gained precedence?

  5. Not sure about the transition period. If you’re a public company, quarterly numbers are everything. I spent over 20 years in the high tech world in sales and management positions. I don’t miss the end of quarter crunch.

  6. Steve,

    This is a great post and an important topic amoung all people in business. For me the first impressions of a persons character mean everything. You need to have a connection and from that a sense of trust. I have connected with some of my best business colleagues, clients, mentors, and friends from a mutual respect and overall fuzzy feeling you get when talking to another person regarding their passions, dreams and goals.

  7. Steve, you know how I feel about that kind of thing. Respect, commitment… big deals when it comes to business. When people prove that you’re not a priority to them it’s disappointing, and it will cost them in the end.

  8. The Gen Y I mentioned in this blog? Allison Zales? She sent me the most sincere heartfelt Thank You card showering me with appreciation for the value she received from our meet.

    I know great character when I see it.

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