8 Ways to become Ridiculously Referable without becoming a Pushy, Self-Promotional Putz

Here’s a quick summary of every book, article or blog post ever written on the topic of getting more referrals:

Just be really good … Have integrity … Show up on time … Do what you say you’re going to do … Become likable … Earn people’s trust … Identify your perfect customer … Give referrals first … Ask for referrals more frequently.

Good advice? Yes.
Actionable advice? Not really.

If you’re like me, you probably want something more concrete, tangible and doable. A strategy you can (actually) execute TODAY that will help you become more referable – without coming off like a pushy, self-promotional putz.

Not just some predictable, vague platitude like, “Have integrity.”

HERE’S THE REALITY: You can’t make people refer you.

All you can do is actively create situations that will increase the probability of being referred.

Here are five ways to do so:

1. Whom do YOU refer? During a recent speech, one audience member shared, “I always refer my chiropractor – she’s great looking and has strong hands!” Naturally, I made an appointment immediately. So, try this: Make a list of five people you’ve referred in the past month. Then, next to each name, note the various attributes that made that person referable.

Next, re-read your final list of attributes. Rate yourself from 1-10 on each one. Finally, if you’re not happy with your current referability, set a goal to raise each category by two points in the next six months. Or, if you REALLY want to blow your hair back, email ten customers and ask them to rate you on those same attributes. You may be amazed at the disparity. How referable are you perceived as being?

2. Find your pure audience. “Put yourself in front of people who can say yes to you and deliver value first.” That’s the mantra of world-renowned sales trainer, Jeffrey Gitomer. And you better believe he’s made millions adhering to it. So, here’s how you can adopt this same philosophy to your own business.

FIRST: Identify a concentrated pool of perfect prospects that meet regularly. Associations are a great place to start. There’s one for everything.

NEXT: Find out what it takes to position yourself in a visible Thought Leadership capacity. Speak at their meetings. Contribute to their publication. Leave value-driven comments on their blog.

FINALLY: Create a Call to Action. Combine outreach with attraction. Ask these people to email or call you to receive additional value. Lists work. Ebooks work. Complimentary fifteen-minute phone consultations work.

In six months, you’ll have so many referrals you’ll have to hire an intern. How will you deliver value in front of the people who can say YES to you?

3. Stop referring selfish jerks that don’t say thank you. First of all, you shouldn’t be hanging out with those kinds of people anyway. Secondly, if someone you refer doesn’t show you (at least SOME) gratitude for doing so, odds are they’re not a good commercial for your business anyway.

And third, referring “zero-burgers,” as my mother likes to say, violates the trust someone put in you to help them solve a problem. So, not only does the person your referred look stupid, but you look stupid as well. And people don’t refer stupid people. Are the people YOU’RE referring making you look referable?

4. Keep the beat going. Growing your permission asset is the single most important secret to generating ongoing demand and becoming more referable. No matter what your business card says, you work in the name accumulation business. Period. Followers become dollars. Period.

Your mission is to regularly deliver value TO and continuously re-earn the respect FROM the tribe of people who admire and support you and your ideas. Period. Remember: When you build a following, you build a bank account. How many people are anticipating your marketing?

5. Offer less. Speaking of periods. Specialists are easy to refer because there’s no mystery. As strategic planning thought leader Robert Bradford says, “Every time you add a comma to the description of what you do, you suck a little bit more. Commas get gigs, but not repeat gigs.”

Lesson learned: Put a period after your name. Stick a stake in the ground, let people gather around, then do everything you can to prove that the stake is sound. Remember: The less you offer, the easier it is for people to refer you. Have you picked a lane?

REMEMBER: You can’t make people refer you.

All you can do is actively create situations that will increase the probability of being referred.

Well, either that, or you could just “have integrity.”

But let’s not get carried away here.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How referable are you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “12 Dangerous Doozies to Avoid in 2009,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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9 Secrets Most Small Business Owners Overlook – Even the Pros

1. Advance the conversation. Stop the bloodsucking and start the billing. Otherwise move on. Your time is too expensive. Are people picking your brain or renting it?

2. Assault the minute. Optimize your time. Ask yourself, “What are you wasting your time and energy on that isn’t making you any money?” That’ll change your agenda pretty quickly. Is what you’re doing right now consistent with your #1 goal?

3. Ban the bland. Fact: Nobody notices normal, nobody buys boring and nobody pays for average. So, stop waiting for permission to be remarkable and start becoming a living brochure of your own awesomeness. Are you the echo or the origin?

4. Buy the domain. The word “domain” comes from the Latin dominium, which means “property.” Thus: Owning the domain = Own the idea. How many million-dollar ideas are you sacrificing by not registering domains?

5. Discard the irrelevancies. If you assume people care about you, you lose. But, if you deliver your message with meaningful concrete immediacy, people will listen. And you will win. Are you willing to explore the negative space around your idea?

6. Dispel the stereotype. Prove to people that you’re the exact opposite OF, and the one exception TO, everyone else who does what you do. They’ll never work with anyone else again. How much money are you losing by perpetuating people’s prejudices?

7. Gain the nod. As in, “I like it, I get it and I’d like to try it.” As in, “This guy is good.” As in, “We should hire him.” Otherwise, the alternative is for customers to yell, “Next!” Are you unnextable?

8. Lose the fads. Anchor your expertise in that which is timeless. Your Thought Leadership position will be stronger, more relevant, more credible and more sustainable. Will your intellectual asset become an endangered species?

9. Spend the money. Don’t cheap out. It will be worth the cost when people start to call it beautiful. Is your teenage daughter (really) the best person to be redesigning your website?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What small business secrets are your overlooking?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “11 Ways to Out MARKET Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Need to build your Thought Leadership Platform?

Perhaps my monthly (or yearly) coaching program would help.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

Does Your Business Pass the Brokeback Mountain Test?

“I can’t quit you!”

Remember when Heath Ledger said that to Jake Gyllenhall in Brokeback Mountain?

Whatever. Don’t act like you didn’t love that movie.

Because that’s exactly what you want: Customers who can’t quit you.

HERE’S WHY: If you can get to that point, you no longer have customers. You have fans. And they’re lightyears beyond “satisfied” or “loyal.”

They’re INSISTENT.

SO, HERE’S THE SECRET: If you want to make it impossible for people to quit you, you’ve got to become addictable.

Does your business pass the Brokeback Mountain Test? Here are six action items to boost your addictability today.

1. Start with yourself. Think of the five websites you’re currently addicted to. Why are they so addictive? How did you become addicted to them? And what still brings you back every day? Make a list, extract the commonalities and then emulate those attributes in your own business. You’ll become more addictable immediately. Where do you get YOUR fix?

2. Update content regularly. Websites are like newspapers – nobody wants to read them if they’re two years old. Whether it’s videos, pictures, music, articles or recipes, your need new content regularly. For example, I receive emails about once a week from viewers of NametagTV that write, “I think I’ve watched every video you have!”

And I think to myself, “Awesome. Thank you. Glad you liked them. There’s more where that came from…” Remember: Familiar structures lead to mental laziness. As a result, people’s brains filter out unchanging backgrounds because, in their minds, there’s no need to pay attention. When was the last time you refreshed YOUR content? Is your website a dinosaur?

3. Have more depth. Don’t just post a few videos or pictures and call it a day. Have dozens. Hundreds. Thousands. The more the better. The goal is to gently and respectfully suck people into your vortex of content so they lose track of time. Think Vegas. Think Casinos. “No windows, no clocks.” Minus the mobsters, of course.

I’m reminded of this strategy when I receive emails DAILY from readers of this blog that write, “I just spent the last hour reading a month’s worth of articles!” And I think to myself with a slight Mr. Burns accent, “Exxxxxcellent.” Remember: Less isn’t more – more is more. When was the last time someone told you, “I just spend the last two hours on your site!”

4. Be a destination, not a website. A “website” is not going to get people to come TO, hang out AT and tell their friends ABOUT anything. It needs to be much more than just information. It needs to be interactive. It needs to be participative. It needs to be updated regularly.

It needs to be THEE source, THEE go-to-place, the El Dorado, The Mecca … for a certain kind of people who want a certain kind of thing. In short: A destination. Websites are so 2005. Why would someone come to (and stay at) your website for more than 60 seconds?

5. Make passion palpable. The more your website (destination) revolves around passion, the easier it is for you to win. And the easier it is for your visitors to win. The challenge is creating an interactive environment where health participation naturally emerges. An environment that enables, supports and rewards authentic dialogue.

That’s the best part. If you create the right kind of environment, the right atmosphere, the right space and the right energy, the people inside of it will take care of themselves. How many of your customers are talking to each other?

6. Addictable comes from Obsessable. The word “obsess” comes from the Latin obsidere, which means, “to occupy.” Hmm. Interesting. I wonder if all this blather about “website hits” is a misnomer. Maybe “hits” don’t mean anything. Maybe “hits” is an acronym for “How Idiots Track Sales.”

Perhaps what’s more important is how LONG people stay on your site, if they come BACK regularly, and if they’re the RIGHT people. To quote Seth Godin from Meatball Sundae, “How many eyeballs isn’t as important as whose eyeballs.” How could being obsessable help you become more addictable?

REMEMBER: The easiest way to make yourself more addictable is to make customers say, “I can’t quit you!”

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Does your business pass the Brokeback Mountain test?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “11 Ways to Out MARKET Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Need to build your Thought Leadership Platform?

Perhaps my monthly (or yearly) coaching program would help.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


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