On one of my recent (featured - thank you!) blogs about referral-begging, the comment was made "If you don't ask, you don't get" in relation to calling up your sphere of influence (or even strangers) and asking if they know anyone to refer to you. In case you don't already know my opinion on the matter, I think that's a really stupid way to prospect.
As Dave Ramsey sez, "Hope I wasn't unclear."
Of course it's true that in many situations, you must ask for what you want to have any chance of getting what you want. If you would like a discount on a computer at Best Buy, you'll have to ask for one. If you'd like fries with your Big Mac, you'll have to ask for them. If you'd like a nicer office, you'll probably have to ask for it.
But when it comes to inspiring people to send business your way - it's a whole 'nother thing. You're "asking" people to think highly enough of you to entrust their precious referral business to you - and as we all know, referrals can backfire on the referrer if they don't go well. Therefore, it's important that you exude an air of success and confidence, which does NOT involve asking / begging / bribing or obligating for business.
Blah Blah Blah - if you've been around here any time at all, you already know how I feel about asking for business. Don't.
But here's the thing. You absolutely CAN inspire the people you know and the people you meet to send business your way without ever asking / begging / bribing or obligating them.
Well, let's go back to Referral-Begging 101. We're taught a variety of scripts to Beg for Referrals from our spheres of influence. How about these gems?
- "Do you know anyone who needs to buy or sell real estate?"
- "Do you know anyone moving to my area who could use my services?"
- "I build my business by referral; will you please keep me in mind if you hear of anyone buying or selling?"
- "I'm never too busy for your referrals."
- "I'm always looking for referrals, so would you mind taking a few of my business cards?"
So, Jennifer, um, I don't get it. What's wrong with these scripts?
Say each of them out loud. What message are your words sending to your audience?