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Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

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3 Ways To Get More Referrals From Your Network

Are you just cherry picking?


Posted by Jacky Sherman on 28/02/2024 @ 8:00AM

Let's be honest, in most things we do, we cherry-pick. Whether that's good or bad depends on our definition of the term. The Oxford English Dictionary defines cherry picking as "choosing the best [cherries] from a group and leaving those which are not so good". Sounds like a virtuous, sensible economy of effort ...

Referral marketing done well, is skilled and those that do it well make it look easy!

Referral marketing done well, is skilled and those that do it well make it look easy!

created by dall-e / open ai

Two other interpretations add a note of caution. First, we pick only the ripest healthiest fruit to give the impression that it applies to the whole tree. Secondly, we choose to pick only the low-hanging fruit ignoring those which may be even better, but are at the top of the tree and will take more effort or are scary to reach.

"These tactics apply equally when the only person we are trying to fool is ourselves!"

Referral marketing, done well, is a systematic process of building relationships that result in a continuous flow of personally recommended business. We know that missing out steps in that process will result in fewer, lower quality referrals or even no referrals at all.

What can you do to avoid cherry-picking and harvest those juicy ripe referrals even if they are at the top of your tree?

Be greedy!

A common reason for skipping some steps is that you are getting referrals in any case so why bother to improve your processes? Seductively dangerous thoughts creep in like "I'm good enough at networking. I get referrals now and have plenty of work."

If you sharpen up your act when busy you will have even more clients and be able to shift your business into a new gear. You could just be more efficient and spend less time and money acquiring new clients.

Equally, you could attract more high-quality clients, earn more money and spend more time at home like you promised yourself when you set up the business. How lovely to cherry-pick your clients rather than your processes!

Be thirsty for knowledge!

You may be inadvertently missing out on steps because you don't know they are there. Often we don't know what we don't know, so constantly updating and expanding your knowledge is an essential skill for any business owner. You may know the steps, but not why they are important so believe they don't matter.

Here's a simple, but common mistake in that genre. Most people who attend networking groups know the rule that you shouldn't sell to the room, yet most people do exactly that.

Imagine you're a web designer. Which sentence will most likely get your audience to identify people they know who need your services?

  • "If you need a website call me." At best you may pick up the odd person in the room who happens to need a new website.

  • "Who do you know who runs a small shop in Northampton and needs a new website?" Your whole audience passes by or goes to shops. Some may even have shops as their customers too!

Now they've linked you and those shop owners in their heads and if they've got a good relationship with you they will check them out for you.

Be brave and climb the ladder!

Even though it may be scary and hard at first, the steps you are most likely to miss out on are the ones that you either find hard or lack the confidence to do.

Referral marketing done well is skilled and those that do it well make it look easy. Yet they all had to learn and practice to perfect their art. All the skills you have already you have learnt from others. You were not born able to read a book or drive a car, so now you can learn referral marketing too.

So if there are steps in your referral marketing that you are unsure about, or lack the confidence to try, then invest in learning them and practice, practice, practice to build your skills. The wonderful thing about networking is there are lots of people just like you who are willing and able to help you as you practice.

You'll be amazed at the referrals that are waiting for you at the top of your cherry tree!

Until next time ...



Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 07970 638857. Let's have an initial chat over a coffee and see how I can help you.

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