When “Looking Good” is No Compliment
Seth Godin has a good point when he says:
The people who work the hardest to get referrals, it seems to me, are the people who least deserve them.
If you need tips on how to get referrals, there are plenty around. But they’re of no use if people aren’t impressed with what you have to offer, or if they don’t trust you. As Godin states, people give referrals when they like what they’ve experienced.
So why are people buying the books and going to the seminars on referrals? It’s the old mistake of confusing looking good and doing good. Tactics like offering incentives and carefully timing your referral request get adopted so the ones who adopt them can look good – they can report that they’re following the latest techniques for getting referrals. Their arsenal is up to date.
Except people tend to care more about their friends and colleagues than they do about your product or service. If you’re selling a dud, why should they refer you, and ruin their credibility? Because you asked nicely? Because of your timing?
Building a relationship and creating trust is what leads to a referral. Don’t worry about looking good. Do good, and you’ll get plenty of referrals down the road.
Have you gone down that road yet?