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The Referral Lucky 13

Learn 13 common-sense methods to gather the best referrals.

By Bill Cates

Do you have a referral mindset?

If you want to get more referrals, then the first place to start is with your thinking and your awareness. I call this a “referral mindset.” Do you have the following mindset?

  1. You realize that prospects would prefer to meet you through a referral than through any other method; so, referral is your primary method of prospecting.
  2. You're tapping into the lifetime value of your clients. In other words, you stay in contact with your clients so that they can provide you with referrals over a lifetime.
  3. You know that the only way you become referable is not by performing transactions but by offering your client a great process, followed by excellent service.
  4. You have a system for bringing in referrals instead of leaving them to chance.
  5. You are always connecting people by giving referrals.
  6. You expect to get referrals. This attitude of expectation creates powerful awareness and action.

With this powerful referral mindset, you will begin to generate more high-quality referrals.

Think about making the appointment valuable to the client and then consider how to make it valuable to you.

Earn the right to ask for referrals sooner, not later
Would you like to get referrals sooner rather than later in your client relationships? Would you like to get quality referrals from prospects? The key to achieving these goals is to offer real value to your client relationships—starting with the very first appointment. Here are some ways to offer value:

  1. Think “process”, not products.
  2. Think about making the appointment valuable to the prospect or client and then consider how to make it valuable to you.
  3. Learn as much as you can about the prospect. Be genuinely curious and be a good listener.
  4. Ask questions that get the client or prospect thinking in ways he has not thought before. Help him think about the bigger picture.
  5. Be a teacher, not a salesperson. Teach the client or prospect how to buy what you're selling and how to select the right company. This will reduce the natural buyer/seller tension and help to start the trust-building process.
  6. Refer the client or prospect to other professionals who might be of service to him.
  7. Be on time for all appointments, do what you say you will do and finish what you start.

By following these 13 tips, you will offer value to your client or prospect, reduce tension and increase his level of trust. This is what needs to be present if you want client referrals sooner rather than later.

© 2003, Bill Cates – Referral Coach International. Used with permission.

Bill Cates is an author and referral coach. You can reach him through his website or at

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