Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


Referral Marketing: Ask The Right Person For Help

And you could change your life ...



Like most people who do coaching, teaching or advising, I get a thrill when my client achieves something life changing as a result of working with me. It's why we do what we do ...

When referral marketing works, the results can be life-changing!

When referral marketing works, the results can be life-changing!

I had a lovely example of this recently I'd like to share with you. After a breakfast meeting a few weeks ago, one of my fellow members caught up with me in the car park.

He wanted to pick my brains about how to re-establish a relationship with a very high-profile businessman who had given him a job over a year ago. The original job had gone really well, he had delivered on time, to budget with no problems.

"This businessman had been publically delighted with the results and had promised more work. But nothing had come of it!"

My contact felt he didn't have a strong enough relationship to just phone this man up as he had actually done all the work with other people in the organisation. Could I help?

We arranged a coaching session to work through it. I have to say that he was sceptical as he freely admitted he felt coaching was so much mumbo jumbo. So I was flattered that he agreed to the session and was thrilled with the outcome. A real 'yes!' moment for me.

It turned out that he got the original job through his brother-in-law who knew this businessman well. So my immediate question was why not go through his brother-in-law again? It turned out that this was where he had got stuck. He wasn't feeling comfortable asking his brother-in-law for more help. Their relationship, apart from that one introduction, was purely social and he felt he was asking too much.

My suggestion to him was that he let his brother-in-law decide that, rather than make an assumption that he would mind. Why not phone him and have an honest conversation including how he felt and allow him to say yes or no?

He did this and lo and behold his brother-in-law said, "Shame you don't offer XXX services as he's looking for someone reliable for that right now". Well, that turned out to be something my client did offer!

Within the week, he was quoting for a huge life changing contract which subsequently he won. And before I hear cries of nepotism, his brother-in-law only made the introduction and was not involved in the contractual decision.

It's easy to say, "Well, what's so special about coaching to come to that conclusion? I could have told him to do that!" There was a bit more to our session than just that suggestion, it was about taking him through a process to come to that conclusion and how to do it in a way that made him feel comfortable and get the result he wanted.

The reason for sharing this example with you is to suggest that we tend to put people into 'relationship boxes' with labels on, then find it difficult to relate to them other than through that label. In this case, my client had put his brother-in-law in the 'family' box, and he had a strong value of keeping family and business separate and not talking shop at home. So he had never shared the full range of his services with his brother-in-law who actually was in a prime position to help him with all sorts of contacts.

"He also made an assumption that his brother-in-law would feel he was taking advantage of their family relationship!"

That, of course, was in his head. Whereas his brother-in-law was pleased to be able to help his wife's brother, and even more delighted that he had a great contact who he could trust to deliver excellence and could recommend with confidence to his business contacts.

So is there someone you'd like to meet who is proving elusive?

  • Who do you know who you think could introduce you?

  • Have you asked them for help?

  • If not what has stopped you?

  • Have you got them in just one box and then made assumptions that they can't or won't help you?

Oh, by the way, the need to deliver excellence is a given!

If you would like some help to find the key to open some of your boxes then do give me a call on 07970 638857 or click here to send over an email enquiry and let's arrange a coffee and a chat to see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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07970 638857