The decision to refer usually happens in a moment. The decision to not refer happens just as quickly. But there is an internal process that usually goes undetected leading up to that moment.
Why do you refer?
Think about the last time you gave a referral. Why did you make the referral? Most likely, you made the referral because you knew, liked and trusted the person or company you referred. You probably didn’t stop to ask yourself if you knew, liked and trusted the person or company you referred. You just referred them. There was simply nothing that stopped you from referring them. You were comfortable making the referral.
Why do people refer you?
When others are making referrals for products and/or services that you provide do they think of you? And do they comfortably refer you? Referring someone risks your reputation. When you receive a referral, the person who referred you did so because they knew you, trusted you, and liked you enough. They referred you because they trusted you enough to enhance their reputation rather than tarnish it.
Do you get 5-Star Reviews?
More and more, when making a buying decision, people go to the internet for reviews. These reviews are represented with 1 to 5 stars. A 5-star review is a great testimonial about the quality of the experience that the reviewer had with the person or business they dealt with. Lower reviews can do a great deal of damage to the reputation and success of the business. Your good reputation opens doors and seals deals.
We all judge.
When we interact with people, we are judging and being judged. Judgments are not the truth. They are the interpretations, assumptions and decisions that we make about one another. Although judgments are only opinions, they form the basis for our choices about who to do business with and who we can rely on to enhance our reputations when we refer them. Your judgments determine how you feel about someone. These judgments and feelings inform your choices and your actions.
What reputation do you have?
People form their opinions about you based on the experiences they have with you. Or they decide what is true about you based on what others say about their experiences with you. If those experiences were not positive; if the person who was having the experience with you felt at all disempowered or disappointed, your reputation has been tarnished. This hurts your chances for repeat business. And this kills your chances of being referred.
Receiving a referral is validation that the experience the referring person had with you was good enough to trust you with their reputation. What you do with that referral will either enhance your hard-earned reputation or hurt it.
Increase your referrals.
The best way to get referred is by providing a 5-Star Experience to everyone you interact with. And since we attract people with similar interests and values, providing 5-Star Experiences will attract other 5-Star Experience Providers for you to send referrals to. Imagine the clients you and your referral partners will attract once you are known for providing 5-Star Experiences!
Your judgments guide your decision to refer. Judgments are thoughts. Your thoughts impact how you feel. Your feelings are your body’s way of condensing all your judgments into instant feedback. Think again of the last time you gave a referral. Wasn’t the basis for your choice your feelings about the person or the business?
Become a 5-Star Experience Provider.
To attract more quality referrals, become a 5-Star Experience Provider. To do so, you must discover what people think of you and your business. But first let’s start by judging others.
The Referral Review Rating Exercise
The following are common filters used to judge one another in business. Use these filters to rate the last person you gave a referral to.
Is trustworthy ________ Stars
Listens to the client ________ Stars
Has the same values as I do ________ Stars
Honors time commitments ________ Stars
Is knowledgeable in their area of expertise ________ Stars
Is honest about what they can and cannot do ________ Stars
Communicates clearly, honestly and accurately ________ Stars
Keeps promises and commitments ________ Stars
Sets realistic expectations ________ Stars
Treats me and clients with respect ________ Stars
OVERALL REVIEW ________ Stars
To become more aware of what you are looking for in a referral partner, repeat the Referral Review Exercise each time you refer someone.
Now ask others to rate you. This will give you valuable information you can use to improve your chances of being referred by becoming a 5-Start Experience Provider.
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