Do you know the definition of the word referral?
Here it is:
an act of referring someone or something for consultation, review, or further action.
Earlier this year I attended a presentation by Michael Maher who spoke quite profoundly about the importance of referrals in any business AND the importance of giving credit to those who do give referrals to people.
BNI members write their referrals down on a slip of paper and hand in their referrals at meetings. Referrals are tracked.
A local chamber of commerce has an online referral program that members can use to notify someone that they have been referred so they can follow up on the referral.
I like to look at referrals as a reward. I refer my clients to other people all the time. I have a client who gives me all their referrals in social media. We grow bigger with referrals.
After attending the Maher presentation I began to start looking at those that I give my business to and a pattern of not getting any referrals back started to emerge.
I sat down with my team and stories started to come out. There are those who always ask for recommendations in almost every conversation so maybe that is the piece I am missing.
Referrals are not one-way. While I know that my business is not selling a product that people want or need, I know that we all know someone who needs some business advice on content marketing, blogging, social media and more.
When we announced we were starting a podcast show we were inundated with requests to be a part of it or to be interviewed for the show. We set up a referral program for being on the show. Guests have to market their appearance to the world too. We asked for this because we are giving away publicity and in kind we expect it to come back to us.
I thought about this long and hard. I looked at all the business I do with people and I made the decision to be more cognizant of where I spend my money or whom I refer business to in the future. People who know and practice the definition of referrals are out there, I will find them, we will hook up, we will help each other.
I do think we all should make sure when we give a referral that we let that business know we did so they can follow up. It can and should be two-way!
“Let Us Be Lover’s We’ll Marry Our Fortunes Together” #shopsmall is the hashtag this month. It should be the hashtag every month and we should be supporting small businesses all the time. They are the backbone of a family, the backbone of a community, the backbone of the nation.
Referrals are golden. Referrals are a business concept to be treasured and yes, a good referral is a reward – I thought enough of you and your business to send someone your way, returning the reward should come naturally.
Just writing a PSA to remind us all how important a good referral is.