While many business owners will tell you that their number one source of new business is referrals, few have a system to ensure they are receiving a steady stream of introductions. In this episode Bill Cates, one of the world's leading authorities on referral generation shares the secrets to consistently winning more referrals.
00:00:00:04 - 00:00:41:12
Bil: You want to make sure you have a process in place that provides great value that you're asking really good questions that's getting the other party to think in ways they haven't thought before you're you know you're teaching a few things along the way you're leading with value every step along the way so that by the time they make a decision to move forward with you they've already found some value. Right you've already enlightened them about a few things. And so their enthusiasm level is usually pretty high. And when you do that you want to ask you know see if we can identify folks who you think should be aware of the work that I do. Right you found a lot of value in this so far and now we're going to move forward and do some further work.
00:00:42:20 - 00:01:20:21
Pau: So that's the voice of Bill Cate's from referralcoach.com Now Bill is the best-selling author of four books on the subject a member of the speaker Hall of Fame. Bill has been helping companies to drive referrals into their business for nearly a quarter of a century. And he joins me today on the market his club podcast to share with you some of the ideas of how you can start to get more referral business and we all love the idea of generating referrals but how do we move from being a passive word of mouth activity that so many small business owners would talk about to becoming a key part of your marketing strategy. Well Bill's going to share with you some of the strategies that he has helped implement across companies all around the world to huge effect. I've had the great pleasure of working with Bill in the past. He's been on my stages and our super conferences and he always knocks it out of the park is an absolute sensation. Now whether you're on the run or listening to this while you're walking in the car I'm going to suggest you at some stage you might want to come back to it with some pen and paper because this is packed with gold. Bill's going to show you the mindset that you need, how to ask for referrals comfortably, how to get referrals without even asking and how to plant referrals seeds and so much more. So, let's not waste any more time let's dive into it. But first let's cue the intro.
00:02:17:00 - 00:02:33:05
War: Welcome to the Marketers Club podcast. The show all about helping you work smarter earn more and accelerate your success and now here's your host Paul McCarthy.
00:02:33:06 - 00:03:10:26
Pau: Welcome back to the Marketers club podcast. Absolutely thrilled to have you here again and of course if you are discovering the program for the first time welcome aboard. I hope that you will enjoy the show and of course subscribe to the program so that you never miss an episode that we have lined up for you on what a brilliant one we have for you today. We've got the amazing Bill Cates who's going to be sharing with you the strategies that you need to employ to start generating more referrals in your business. Now if I ask most small business owners where does their business come from most people will tell me from word of mouth.
00:03:10:26 - 00:03:53:09
Pau: The problem is that it's often very passive it's sort of just trickling in from time to time we all enjoy getting that and it's obviously a great indication that we're doing good work but seldom do we get it at the speed that we want. And Bill's really helps to unpack how we can start to move that to be something that's so much more powerful for our businesses. So, as I said at the outset, I've had the chance to work with Bill before and I've been implementing his strategies and sharing them with my clients for many years now and they have worked a treat. So, I know that you're going to get a lot of value from this session so I don't want to keep you waiting any longer. Let's dive into our discussion with Bill. Well welcome to the markets club podcast. Thank’s so much for joining me. Bill
00:03:54:07 - 00:03:57:17
Bil: Always great to be with you Paul as usual thank you.
00:03:57:19 - 00:04:46:05
Pau: No it's good to be chatting to you it's been a while since you've been on our shores and we had you speaking and you are such a massive hit with the audiences here as soon as I decided that I was putting together a podcast you were one of the first names on my list to get on because I know it did deliver massive value to everyone. And referrals are clearly such an important part of growing a business that is now on better on the planet that I won't be talking to you about how to do that but maybe you know for people that aren't familiar with you Bill maybe you can give us a quick overview of your story how you ended up being the referral expert that you are and you've written three books and got another one coming you’re a Hall of Fame speaker in this space so just tell us a little bit about your journey.
00:04:46:19 - 00:06:17:21
Bil: Well I appreciate it like everybody listening. I'm an entrepreneur a small business owner I actually owned a couple of book publishing companies way back when this was pre internet, when books were on paper and they were sold in bookstores and I sold those businesses and I was looking for the next thing to do I had a little money in the bank so I wasn't in a hurry but a friend of mine said you should be a coach a speaker and author you've got so much to offer. And I go on let me think on that. And so I slowly started thinking about that I joined the National Speakers Association and started becoming a kind of a sales speaker but without a real specific system without a real specific process. And I liked the aspect of sales around finding people you know prospecting and identifying the right folks and how do you get their attention. So I finally started to focus on referrals and introductions and my first book actually came out in 1996 and now people can tell how old I am. And that was called Unlimited referrals is not available anymore, but since I've written three more books and and so really 22 - 23 years I've been teaching folks small business owners professionals salespeople how to get more referrals how to be more referral how to ternary for onto an introduction how to talk about their value all the various things under the umbrella of relationship marketing.
00:06:18:12 - 00:06:53:05
Pau: And let's dive into some of those and I guess this is a thing that we all I mean you ask most business owners you know where do you get your business from and people. That's number one thing they'll say is word of mouth, through referrals but I think we know what we're talking about here is how we take it from a relatively passive thing that it often is for so many business owners and turn it into an active part of your marketing strategy. So you have a whole philosophy around the idea of a mindset referral mindset and developing that mindset. Tell us a little bit about what we need to do to create a referral mindset.
00:06:54:03 - 00:08:09:12
Bil: Yeah sure. I mean for so many people referrals are kind of seen as word of mouth and all the cousins of that are seen as icing on the cake. You know it's great when I get referrals but it really is the cake. If you think about it for just about any business how would someone prefer to meet you. It doesn't mean that other things can't work. But how would someone prefer to meet you. Well it's an introduction from someone else they trust right. I've read so many books on all the various types of marketing strategies and buyer personas and all these things and I'm not saying that isn't relevant stuff. It is. And how would someone prefer to meet you. It's through someone they already trust. So the first thing is just making a commitment to meeting your clients or customers the way they want to meet you and not having it be icing on the cake and having it be the cake. And then from there there's you know there's a lot of limiting beliefs and mistaken assumptions people make. Some people think for instance if I just serve the heck out of my clients or customers I'll get referrals you know get rich live happily ever after. And the truth is if you serve the heck out of your clients or customers which you need to do, bring tremendous value.
00:08:09:18 - 00:09:36:24
Bil: You're probably most business will grow incrementally, you will grow, but it will be incremental. And so, if you want to create exponential growth you have to use the principle of borrowed trust. You have to be appropriately proactive. So one client can become 2 and 2 can become 4 and 4 can become 8 and people know how that works for you for all they just have to make a commitment to doing it. A couple others really quick on mindset understanding the lifetime value of a client or a customer, certainly on one side of the equation it's the business you can do with them over a lifetime which in some cases could be substantial which is great accounts. But the other part of the equation is who they can introduce you to over the. But if you're not thinking about that. If it's not in your awareness your mindset then you're going to miss opportunities. You'll be standing right in front of opportunity and you'll miss it because it's not part of the way you think. There's so much to the mindset. Let me just give you one more because it's an important one and that is the idea of giving referrals providing referrals and making introductions. A lot of folks don't like to make introductions. Small business owners. Some do. The ones that probably come to you and work with you probably are more inclined to do that but to give a referral to created, a connection there's always a little rest there because you never know exactly what's going to happen because humans are involved. And I was giving a speech in Nashville Tennessee last February and a guy came up to me his name was Eric. I'll never forget and he said to me you know I think I figured out why I don't like to ask for referrals. I said Well tell me what you think. He says I don't like to give referrals. And I said bingo you figured it out right. There is a disconnect for your clients and customers. It may not be or they might not own a business so you're not giving them a referral to someone who's a prospect for their business. But you know you can serve them and help them and bring value to them with connections and a lot of other ways. So, do you see yourself as a connector and what I mean by that is do you see yourself in this world as someone who makes connections for others serve people by putting those two and two together to make connections and that you expect to get connected. That's just how you operate. And that's the way you see things and doesn't mean you're aggressive about it but it's just the way you see the world in the way you see yourself moving in the world. That's some of the items of a referral mindset and without the mindset in place first. And I'm glad you started with that. All the strategies tactics that will I'm sure we'll get to they will won't be worth anything because you're going to miss the opportunity and you're going to be afraid. So, having the right mindset it starts there.
00:10:55:13 - 00:12:16:19
Pau: Yeah absolutely. I mean as I would teach with all my clients is this idea of you have a marketing mindset and understand who you serve and I guess that we have been really aligned in our values is one of the things that attracted me to wanting to work with you know many years ago was back in 2013 that you first came to our shores and spoke at our marketing super conference and that will come up again later this year and I'll explain to listeners how I can get involved in that that in that conference in coming episodes but it's really this mindset side of things it's so important to all aspects of our business the way we think about what we do really leads our actions. But I guess when we speak specifically about referrals there is a fear you mentioned even just then you know about not needing for it to be aggressive. But I think that some people fear asking for a referral. So I know that you do two things one you show people how to get referrals without even asking but then how to ask effectively for a referral, so can we chat a little bit about the process of expressing the desire for a referral from a prospect or a client.
00:12:16:19 - 00:13:33:20
Bil: Sure. And before we do that, I want to just make a distinction between the word referral and an introduction and maybe even word of mouth. You know I just was reading an article earlier today where the headline had something to do with referrals and then the paragraph started talking about word of mouth. Well there really is kind of a hierarchy. And I'll tell you the word that you should be using with your clients and prospects so word of mouth is obviously unsolicited referrals is when people are saying good things about you. The phone rings the email comes in and someone says my friend and my colleagues that I should talk to you and that's great that counts. We should all be getting that. That's a barometer of being referable. But for most businesses that's not enough to grow the business fast enough in the direction and getting the types of people you want. So, the next level is what we'll call a referral, referred lead it's often called, it's essentially you know Paul call George use my name. Well first of all these days George doesn't answer his phone. He's wondering who this guy Paul is and why Bill you know gave his name out. And it's probably not going to get a call back unless there's a super high trust relationship there and they do this all the time. It just doesn't work as well as it used to. But then there's the introduction where whether it's in-person or with an email handshake or whatever it may be. Now we're connected and that's really what we want. That's what we need. And so when you're with prospects when you're with clients when you're with any kind of centre of influence strategic alliance anyone who has the ability to send folks your way use the word introductions because that's what you want. You want to make it about the introduction. So with that said let's talk a little bit about how you're asking because there's a lot to it but it's not it's not complicated. It's actually pretty simple and it's easy to do it's just easier not to. And so usually the process that I take starts out with what we call a value discussion. I know you're familiar with this it's a it's a checking in with the prospect with the client customer to making sure that the value has been delivered it's been recognized by them. Sometimes your clients and customers are giving you these value recognizing statements you're saying good things they're saying thank you. They're saying you know I always feel better after we talk. There's you know you really made a big difference for our businesses lots of different things they'll say and these are value recognizing statements and we also want to be proactive and check in and say how are we doing.
00:14:53:29 - 00:15:50:14
Bil: You know let's put you know let's talk about something we can control which is our communication and our overall work and relationship. First of all is there anything that working I should be aware of it you should never be afraid to go in and say anything not working. Any place where I can we could have done a little better because if it's big stuff usually they'll tell you. Not always but the little stuff they quite often won't people like to be nice and cordial. And if you let them down in small way’s they won't always tell you. But we know that that can create a little pinch in the relationship and we want to get that exercised in up and out. So, you've got to be looking for anything that's not working and if you have people that work for you want to train them and make them help them feel comfortable in looking for the negative aspect. You know we know that our relationship has had a problem that's been handled well as a stronger relationship than when it's never had a problem. So, you know we're in the business of forming stronger relationships and then and then of course what it's going do is going bring the value to life. Tell me what has been working for you. Tell me how do we how we continue to earn your business or how we've created such a loyal client. There's a lot of different words you can use but you get the idea. We're trying to figure out what are they seeing that's working. And these are open ended questions. It's not you know have you found value in the work we've done. Yeah great. Who do you know? No, it's not a setup right. It's a discussion. Let's talk about it. And people really appreciate this because they like the idea that you're available if a problem hits they like they like the idea that you want to get better. And so, it really starts with this value discussion. Some people call it a value check in. Some people call it a communication review but it's all based on part of our system. And that alone will make a huge difference for most folks. I can't say how many times I've run a bootcamp or done an in-house seminar for a company and we do a coaching call a few weeks later and invariably there is a couple of folks on the call that say Yeah Bill I did the value discussions and I'm learning stuff and I got an introduction without even asking just by bringing it up and that alone will make a big difference for folks. It creates a sense of engagement. It's a strong place to be. Then the other part of asking I want to emphasize for this this program with you here is is coming prepared to have this conversation. In other words big mistake people make. I've made it.
00:17:25:02 - 00:19:02:21
Bil: Everybody listening has probably made it is when you throw open the whole universe you say Who do you know we can help. Who else should know about what we do? And usually you know they draw blank and then it fizzles and you go well it didn't work. Occasionally it turns into something but it's not a strong place to go. What we're trying to do here is help them visualize people in their mind's eye so their brain will rest on one or two or three people and then we can talk about introductions to those folks so the bullseye and all of this the bull's eye and asking for introductions are people that you know they know it could be people have come up in previous conversations maybe you've done a little research and you see they sit on a board of directors of a philanthropic organization or their industry trade association or however you recognize folks that they know. And so you come prepared with that. You come prepared to say Paul how do you feel about you know introducing me to your x business partner Brad. You know you I know you guys stayed in touch and can we you know craft an approach that would feel comfortable. Yeah okay. We can do that would you have in mind. Right so it's a really easy place to do it it's where you're going to feel more comfortable asking the person you ask is going to feel more comfortable now you know your client may not want to introduce you to someone you've identified but it's just what we're trying to do is prime the pump here where you know when you want a pump working you pour a little water down the hole creates a little suction and then it starts to flow back up and that's what this does is it creates a little suction. People get curious you know hey Paul I've got a couple idea a couple like these couple of folks you mentioned last time we got together you know can I run it by I just to see what you think. Well who do you have in mind right creates curiosity. So that's the bullseye. That's the that's the best strongest easiest way to make this happen. And then the next ring out on the target are categories. Now every business has different categories but every business has categories of people who are kind of ripe to meet you.
00:19:36:06 - 00:20:53:18
Bil: So, for instance for a financial adviser you know in that world we'll talk about life events money and motion. You know I met a mortgage broker the last time I was over there. It's your group and obviously for that person it's when someone's buying a home. Right. And or interest rates go way down. And then you know other people you talk about they're their friends their family their neighbours. So, creating these categories that fit your business where the people are their radar and doing business with you is going to be higher. And so that's another good place to to have this. But the key is coming prepared and letting your referral source know you've come prepared. You know Paul I'm glad to see value in the work we're doing and you know I you know I believe in bringing my work to other folks and I was hoping we could put our heads together for a second see if we could identify a few folks who think at least should be aware of what I do and you know based on our conversations last couple of times I have a few ideas couple of folks I'd like to run by if that's OK. Well who would you have in mind. It's as simple as that. That's the conversation. This is not rocket science. It's just willing to be prepared and do it.
00:20:54:06 - 00:22:46:09
Pau: Well you've said a number of really important things that I just want to run over. I mean one which is obviously is a great piece of advice just when you're going into meetings to go prepared. I mean you're going to a sales meeting or going to a review session with clients is to go in prepared not to walk in with nothing in your mind is going. Let's say where this goes but you've got you've done some homework and that is a really important part. I think too often people go in underprepared haven't looked at the website I haven't looked at LinkedIn connections haven't I listened carefully enough and made notes about them and followed up on that. So, I think that is one great piece of advice is just going in prepared the other part you're talking about. It reminded me when I owned a call centre a long time ago. It feels like another lifetime ago that we had all those telemarketers making the different calls where we had a big poster that we put up on the wall because we were selling all sorts of different things in our gym passes or what have you. And on the wall, we had a big poster that said I am a sale without a referral is half a sale. And of course, we were asking for referrals based on your exact definition where we were saying to the person so give us you know you're entitled to give us the name of two or three people you know maximum for us that can get this special deal. And said I would give those names over and then the telemarketer would call them and say hey you know Bill told me to give you a call so it was very much that sort of referral style where you do get that jarringly the person's thinking I really wanted to give Bill my name out but they work their way through it, but that would be the difference between you know cold calling maybe getting one in 15 one in 20 people to say yes to getting down to probably a one in three hit right off the back of that referral.
00:22:46:09 - 00:24:31:04
Pau: But in business as you say it's so much more powerful to get this introduction where it is being led by the other person. So, it feels like it's much more their idea they are introducing you to their buddy rather than you coming in and trying to explain the relationship. That's such a powerful strategy. He also reminded me that in terms of the value discussions with clients earlier or late last week and they they've introduced this way they run events and they have been doing it as part of a briefing they're really taking on this idea of having a discussion with them about all the things they have done because you talk a lot about the idea of reminding people of the value already delivered and having this valued discussion and that have had tremendous results as a result of just adding that part because what I discovered was people who had either didn't know that something had happened for them and forgotten about that or that it was. It also helped bring up a few things where they weren't sure about or they didn't realize they got that value. And so, it's really cemented the relationship and helped them to secure that client as a long-term fan of their of their work. Now keep signing up to their projects which has been you know game changing for them in terms of their ability to to retain because they were having a bit of leakage in terms of retention so those strategies that you teach which I guess after being exposed to them many years ago have been out part of my practice and my know the education of my clients and so I can't thank you enough for their value because I've really helped a lot of my clients to secure a lot more business so this stuff is not just theories, they really work.
00:24:32:12 - 00:26:01:11
Bil: Well you know real quick comment on that is you know I mentioned that this isn't a setup you don't say Have you found value you agree who you know it's on the other side it's also not a pure value telling where you just say hey we've done this we've done this we've done this and we've help you with this, pretty good stuff. It's an in-between like you are saying it's you can come prepared to remind them of a couple of things that you've done or maybe they didn't realize the value of something. So that's why I call the value discussion, a value conversation. It's a bit of a give and take. Now we want most of it to come from the client or the person we're serving right because we want them to get in touch with it but it doesn't mean we can't participate in that. We can't suggest some place that may be forgot or just to see how they felt about something we did and oh yeah. I totally forgot about that I was great. Thank you. Right. All we're doing here is trying to create this sense of engagement and feeling good and then that's a stepping off point for asking for introductions and it's not one great place to do this obviously is when someone decides to do business with you. A lot of people shy away from bringing it up then and I get that you know you feel like well haven't I really provided value for them yet. Well here's the deal.
00:26:01:24 - 00:27:25:11
Bil: When you're in your courtship process with your prospect or customer when you're you know when you guys are figuring each other out and is it a good fit for both parties. You want to make sure you have a process in place that provides great value that you're asking really good questions that's getting the other party to think in ways they haven't thought before you're you know you're teaching a few things along the way you're leading with value every step along the way so that by the time they make a decision to move for with you they've already found some value. Right you've already enlightened them about a few things. And so, their enthusiasm level is usually pretty high. And when you do that you want to ask you know let's see if we can identify folks who you think should be aware of the work that I do. All right. You found a lot of value in this so far and now we're going to move forward and do some further work and you know what we do is help people like yourself make educated decisions so they do the right thing for themselves or for their business depending on who you're working with. And so, it's all about creating that feeling that sense of engagement of the value that you've brought and then who you are as a person. That's also very important. There's a likability factor that fits into this referral and introductions stuff that's a little harder to teach you know but it's an important component.
00:27:25:14 - 00:27:33:18
Pau: So, Bill you talk in terms of quality of referrals so how to do we upgrade the quality of the referral we're generating
00:27:34:20 - 00:27:41:12
Bil: And by that I assume you're talking about the upgrading of the quality of the prospect that we're being introduced to.
00:27:41:15 - 00:27:43:18
Pau: Yeah Correct.
00:27:45:17 - 00:28:18:25
Bil: A common dilemma for people I work with and so I'll give you another from the world of financial services in banking and financial advisory. People tend to refer lateral and down on the economic ladder. So, for them it's a continual struggle. But it really permeates all businesses in that if you have your sights set on a certain direction for your business which is pretty important and you identify who your ideal clients are. In my new book that I'm writing now I call it a right fit client and a right fit client is essentially someone you are meant to serve and someone who is meant to be served by you and gosh wouldn't it be great if we could have all and only right fit clients but to make that happen. It's an educational process. We have to educate our referral sources be they clients or other centres of influence who we serve the best who were trying to bring our value to. If you just leave it to chance then that's what's going to happen, you'll get some that fit you get some that don't. And you're going to possibly feel obligated to that referral source and take on some business that doesn't fit which you shouldn't do. In fact, let me make a quick point here. If a prospect whether you've been introduced to them or not but if a prospect isn't the right fit for your business. Yeah you could probably help them but you're not going to take you where you want to go and it's not doing the kind of work you really like to do. Maybe it's an easy money but if they're not right for you then guess what you're not right for them. And if you can create a lose, lose, situation
00:29:28:27 - 00:30:30:11
Bil: I'm sure everybody has felt the emotion of you know being a little disgruntled or resentful that they're working with somebody they really want to. And so first of all let's understand that has got to be a good match. It's to be a win win. So the challenge that happens for some folks is you know client refers someone to them and that person isn't a good match but they feel obligated to the referral source. But you really don't want to create a lose lose lose situation. So what you want to do is you want to first of all you want to educate your clients and let your clients know that you know they can you know they may not know exactly their friends or colleagues situation but you're never too busy to take a look and see if you can be a resource you know you might be the right match you might not you're not going to take on work that isn't a perfect match so that your clients are kind of forewarned and then they started saying to you Well you know Paul I'm not sure if this person is perfect for your your business or not but you know I think it's worth a conversation. And then if it's not a good fit you're not hurting any feelings you're not you're not turning off the spigot of referrals from that referral source. So be clear and teach people who you serve the best. I'm saying who you serve the best versus who you're looking for. Now you could say that but I try to create come from a client service client focused perspective. Right. We know we bring value to our clients or we wouldn't be in this business that we're in. Whatever your respective businesses. And so we're coming from a place of wanting to bring our value to other people. And so that's why we're asking for introductions to bring our value to other people they know we'll get paid. They know we'll make money so we don't have to hit it over him over the head with it. But we really do want to bring our values and others is kind of coming from a missionary place almost as I'm sure everyone on this call has been around people who are just so passionate about the work they do, it just oozies out of them. And it's natural it's real. And you can't help but want to help those people because they're on a mission to bring important work to people and that's if we can kind of create that missionary feel people want to help us and they want to help their friends too.
00:31:49:25 - 00:33:08:26
Pau: Yeah and this was such a turning point in my career when I started off and I've talk about this very openly that there is no doubt I think it had a lot to do with being a kid who grew up in a real working-class suburb where scarcity was abound. Was that I had a scarcity mindset. And so, I think that I definitely when I began said yes to anything to everything to everybody. And as a consequence, when I first got started. I was good at attracting clients and getting people on board. But I filled up my bucket with a lot of the wrong type of clients that were running me ragged they were high in need, but low in value and I was exhausted and it was the turning point was the day I decided to sack my first client which I did very respectfully but it was such a relief and I always talk to clients about the fact that if you want to make space for good clients sometimes you have to you know make a little room you have to pour out some of the poor quality clients and it can be a really liberating experience to make that decision to say No I deserve a better client quality of client but it's up to me to make that happen.
00:33:09:02 - 00:33:58:07
Bil: Yeah and then you look at someone just starting out I get it. We've all been there and we just got to get past that as quickly as we can. And part of it is the scarcity versus abundance mindset part of it is look you need the bucks you've got to keep the lights on but you just got to work yourself past that and be mindful of who you really do want to serve who your ideal client is and that will evolve. Obviously your business grows it'll change over time and then you change with it but if you're not clear on who you really want to attract you know the persona of the type of person the type of business that you want to serve then you certainly can't expect your clients to know it. Everybody's playing a guessing game. So just be clear. Teach people let them know.
00:33:58:07 - 00:34:20:21
Pau: So, you've mentioned a couple of times on our way through in terms of centres of influence. So how do we go about sort of creating forming if you like a bit of our own sales force that you talk about how we get people knowing who we are what we do and getting them to be active in this process. What's the secret to making that happen?
00:34:20:22 - 00:36:36:03
Bil: Yes, so the first thing is to identify who those people are. And every business has their own natural centres of influence. Ivan Meisner the founder of BNI calls them contacts spheres a long time ago when I related to the printing and publishing industry. So, someone sold printing would be graphic artists we advertising agencies in these and sometimes business consultants, financial advisors are looking for accountants or looking for attorneys. So, every business has them. These are quite often people who are also selling to the same people you're selling to or marketing to. And there are synergy can be created and sometimes it's reciprocal. Sometimes it's one sided. I mean I have center of influence relationships where I can't always give referrals to the other person but I give value in other ways so it doesn't have to be reciprocal referrals. But the first step is identifying those folks are and then you've got to be a little careful and not ask too quickly because you need to be referral and in their eyes. You can't just say hey here's what I do. You know do you know anybody who needs this. There's a lot more to it. You want to lay out your process. You want to make sure they really see the value and that doesn't always happen in one meeting in one lunch or breakfast or appointment. Sometimes it takes a little time to nurture that relationship because they've got to trust you right. Their reputations on the line if they're going to send people to you. Whatever happens it's going to reflect on them. You know you got to become referral and explaining your process explaining how you serve your clients creating some case studies is always a good thing. Problem solution we had this client. This is where they were and this is what we help them become and to type them up to write them up. Use the names if you can whatever just create this body of evidence that you will bring great value to anyone, they send your way. So that's a pretty important component as being referral. I mean I've been in this speaking business writing consulting business forever and you know I have folks that are brand new come up to me looking for my overflow business and looking for not knowing who they are.
00:36:36:09 - 00:38:45:00
Bil: You know I probably did the same thing when I first started and now. I know I didn't get anything from those folks so that's important. And then you know we just talked about getting the right types of introductions you want to teach these centres of influence who you serve the best the parameters of people that you work with and how they recognize these people. In other words what do your prospective clients complaining about where do they typically get stuck where you can come in and rescue them. What are some of the opportunities that they're blind to that they miss and you teach each other these aspects so over time over a time of nurturing this relationship with the centre of influence you become almost experts on each other's business and that's where that's where the introductions become very powerful. You know be one thing if Paul you and I had lunch after some networking meeting and I found out what you did and I meet someone I say you know you should talk to Paul McCarthy know I think he can help you with this. I don't know a whole lot about what he does but you know you should talk to him. Well that's not bad. It's not terrible. It's also not super strong. But let's say we met a couple times and he told me a couple of stories of how you went the extra mile for someone or how you fixed a particularly difficult problem. And I you know I get that and I see that and I see what makes you tick. Then if I meet this person and say you know you need to talk to Paul he's great at what he does. I mean he really cares about his clients. I've seen some of the problem he's fixed for other clients. He's the guy. That's what we really want right so that only comes from nurturing and slowly building the relationship over time. And a lot of people don't take the time to nurture those relationships and then once you have a good centre of influence like this then there's the continuing nurturing of that relationship and maybe a break bread together twice a year three four times a year Whatever seems right. But you got to keep the relationship going because out of sight out of mind. So that's those are some of the fundamentals
00:38:45:20 - 00:39:53:11
Pau: Brilliant advice and really you know these things as you said from the outset it's not rocket science. There are some really simple principles but it's easier not to do than to do them. And so, people will just sort of avoid them but they are so powerful and the impact on our business and they really can drive the success of a small business forward at great rates. And that's what we're all about here is about how we can accelerate people's success. And so, we're kind of almost coming up on time and I wanted to say to you quickly before we wrap up Bill because I know you know it's the beginning of my day here in Oz. But at the end of your day so I want to let you get away and call it a day. But referrals seeds are something that you teach and they're really powerful. They've been an effective strategy that many of our clients have benefited from since you taught us this principle. All those years ago so maybe if you could share just some of the ideas around how we seed the idea of referrals.
00:39:53:11 - 00:42:06:18
Bil: Sure. Planting seeds sometimes I call it promoting introductions you're not actually asking straight out but you're introducing the idea into the conversation. And it really serves a few different functions and I'll give you a couple examples in a second. But one function it serves is like you said to plant a seed. And so one I might say hey you know I'm never too busy to see if I can be a resource for your colleagues or for your family whether you're B2C B2B with you know determine what you say there. And so, goes into the unconscious. OK great. I appreciate that. And then later they identify someone that maybe you should know that you've already told him you're never too busy to see if you can help them and so they know you're open for business or open for referrals and then make the connections so plant a seed. Sometimes it turns into referrals or introductions right on the spot. In other words, you say you know I'm never too busy to see if I can be a resource for other people that you think should be where. Oh, I you know I know someone who should you know so sometimes that happens and they also act as a barometer you see how people react to the idea of the possibility of introductions and sometimes, you'll identify folks that are just ecstatic to do it. And you've identified that and that's great. And then sometimes you identify people that you can just tell by how they react that maybe they're a little more on the private side. So, what I've been teaching forever and it seems to translate all over the world even when I spoke in Malaysia in India and Singapore and I don't know how it translates in the different languages but it's a phrase Don't keep me a secret. It's the title of one of my books you know I'm glad to see the value. Please don't keep you know keep this a secret and keep the work we do a secret. And you know it's a fun thing is all smile on the end of it and certainly not going to hurt a relationship and I can't take the feedback over the years I've received from folks who just use that little phrase give a couple more one more one is something you can actually do on your outgoing voice message. So when you're working with Paul McCarthy and you don't have a chance to pick up your phone the outgoing message is you know hey this is Bill Cates please leave a message at the town and if you are recommended by someone please let us know who we need to thank.
00:42:06:20 - 00:43:59:11
Bil: And so now we're putting that outbound message to everybody that calls us that we work through recommendations referrals whatever word you want to use. And we say thank you in fact we're getting so many we have to put on our outgoing voice message of what to do with it. So it's just part of the culture we're trying to build. You know getting referrals slash introductions is not just about asking there's a whole culture around this that we're creating one. One more. I've got a slew of them but one more as one of the more powerful ones is teaching your clients customers what it would look like if they didn't think of someone so we know that a lot of folks won't give referrals because you're not sure how you're going to handle what is going to look like if the work you do needs to be confidential. Will it stay confidential. Are you going to call their friends and bug them. And it's not. It's not logical it's emotional. If they thought about how you reached out to them and all that and they wouldn't be a client right now if it wasn't good. But that doesn't matter because it's an emotional response sometimes based on any past bad experience. And so teach people you know Paul if you think of someone that you think should be aware of what we do I just let you know I'm not going to just call people from out of the blue and surprise them and make them wonder why did Paul McCarthy get my name out of this guy. Nobody likes to get a call like that anymore. I work through introductions so whenever you identify someone will talk you know come up with an approach for you to introduce me to them that feels comfortable for you comfortable for them and at least you know you're interested in hearing from me so we can have a good conversation. How's that sound. Sounds fine. So, I haven't really asked. I planted the seed I promoted the possibility for later but I've taken away any fear awkwardness or uncertainty you might have. You know when someone does come to mind
00:44:00:23 - 00:45:17:27
Pau: It's powerful stuff. These things really work and if people call my mobile, they definitely hear you know. If you've been referred on to me please let me know who it is so I can thank them. So that's directly taken from your teaching I know that lots of clients have added, the don't keep me a secret to the base of their emails and found tremendous results in that. So yeah, your work is permeating here through Oz all of the time through all of our clients and us continuing to share these great lessons. But I think one really important thing to do before we close this is what you've been saying and I guess I just want to kind of come back around to what it is you were talking about people letting people know that they are always open. And I think this is the one of the cases because I think people too often do the exact opposite. They know they make people and people say hey you're doing and the first thing they say is flat out I'm so busy you know quit I can barely scratch myself and I've got no time. And those are all signs of saying Well there's no chance I'm going send you a more work I'm not going to send you anybody else to drowning as it is. That's a really important thing to stay aware of right.
00:45:18:24 - 00:46:21:03
Bil: Oh yeah. We've got to be very careful about the message. Just two messages we have to be careful about sending one is to see how busy I am right. Someone calls you and you go Hey how you doing OK. I'm busier than a one-armed paper hanger. I just you know it's crazy now. You know if you have a client a friend a colleague somebody you know well you feel like you can let your guard down. And just admit the fact that you're swamped. But you got to be careful about the message you're sending that you're too busy to take on other business. The other one you have to be careful of is to see how successful I am. You know we like that. We like to drive successful we like to keep times successful we like to dress successful and there is nothing wrong with that. OK. But we better counter balance that message with planting seeds and asking. Right. Never too busy to see if I can be a resource for other people. So yeah, we have to. We have to make sure we're not sending signals out there that could be sabotaging our efforts.
00:46:21:03 - 00:47:03:24
Pau: Yeah. I mean we want to provide a kind of a ring of protection we talk about the rings of expertise and and not making ourselves too accessible, but as you say we don't want to become so inaccessible that nobody wants to send us anyone or connect with us. So, Bill it's been as always, a fantastic conversation packed with value. I have no doubt that people will have been scouring for pens and papers and taking lots of notes and will probably want to listen to this episode again because it's packed with great information as always. But if it were to reach out to you. I want to find out more about the programs, brilliant courses that you have available online getting one of your books with what is the best place for them to go to do that.
00:47:03:24 - 00:47:29:16
Bil: Sure that would really be referralcoach.com/resources referralcoach.com is our main web site but forward slash resources all lower case, I'll take you to a page where there's some free stuff there you can subscribe to our tips and you can start to get into the world and get a sense of what we do. And if you like what you hear then you know down the road maybe we can do a little business but at least get started with some of our free stuff.
00:47:29:27 - 00:48:47:08
Pau: Brilliant mate and we do have from when Bill was in Australia it's been over a couple of times for us to speak at our events and always hit it out of the park but we had a very special report that we put together which is packed with some of Bill's great information and where it was about how you can generate a hundred thousand dollars with a referral business in the next 90 days. So we're going do is as a bonus to this episode. If you go to the marketers Club Academy dot com forward slash podcast 3 you'll be able to find that downloadable resource where you'll be able to get access to Bill's report and be able to start following some of that advice and I can tell you that it's definitely worth reading it's packed with great information. Much of the many of the things we've talked about today but many others as well that that'll help you to really ignite your referral generation so thanks again mate for being part of the show. As I say when I sat down and got myself fired up to get the podcast going you one of the first names on my list so I was so thrilled when you accepted the invitation to join me to chat so I appreciate it. It's getting late where you are early where I am, but thanks for making time.
00:48:47:12 - 00:48:49:08
Bil: You bet Paul anytime for you.
00:48:49:08 - 00:48:50:11
Pau: Good on you might take care.
00:48:50:21 - 00:49:55:23
Pau: So I hope you enjoyed that chat with Bill Cates and you're feeling a whole lot more comfortable about the idea of how you can start asking for referrals without feeling any sort of cringe factor in how you can start the process and a culture in your business to allow referrals to start to flow to you more easily. It is definitely a powerful way to start growing a business and if we get really focused on it and we help our clients to introduce us efficiently and effectively to other people that we can serve then you can really rapidly grow your business. Of course, if we want to get more ideas, we recommend that you go and grab the copy of the very special report that we put together when Bill was in Australia speaking at one of the marketing super conferences here for me a number of years ago. It's a fantastic report packed with more great information to help you drive your referrals. So, if you want to know how to get hundred thousand dollars with a referral business in the next 90 days. I'd suggest you go grab that report you'll find it at the MarketersClubAcademy.com website.
00:49:55:23 - 00:50:40:18
Pau: In the podcast section under this podcast where you'll be able to grab that resource and learn even more strategies for driving referrals into your business. So again thank you so much for joining me I really appreciate you guys and I really want to continue to serve you as well as I can so thank you to everybody who's taken the time to leave a comment to uh to like the program to subscribe and I hope that you continue to enjoy what we're bringing to you and that you will be happy to share that with other entrepreneurs because that's what we here to do to serve anyone who's had the courage to build a business and help them to take it to the next level. So, until next week take care all the very best with your business. But much more importantly with your lives by for now.