30 Client Referrals or More -- How to Get Them
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Do you get all of the referrals you want? Most professionals don’t because they’re afraid.Afraid they’ll hurt their client relationships. Afraid they won’t cultivate any new business. Or afraid they’ll appear cheap or salesy.
It’s an imagined psychological line in the sand you’re afraid of crossing with people. It’s in a concept I teach called "D.V.”, or Damage Verge. You’re frightened that by bringing up the word “referrals” you’ll push your clients, cross that line, and create damage.
Let me give you an example.
Of 5,200 investment and insurance professionals surveyed earlier this year by my firm Strategic Impact!, an overwhelming 79 percent said they rely on referrals as their primary source of new business. Eighty-three percent of those professionals had at least 100 clients. Yet the median number of referrals they received from their clients over a 12-month period was just 6 to 12! That means that, on average, only about 10% of their clients were generating referrals. That’s horrible! And being passive causes it.
If clients are your best source of new business then the figure indicates a tremendous problem. The question is why? My answer is Damage Verge: A psychological barrier where you imagine the worst possible thing will happen if you ask a client for a referral.
Before you can even think about how to bring the subject up, your brain kicks into warp speed and says, "I can't ask them for a referral; they might get mad at me. . . feel upset. . . be uncomfortable. . . [insert your excuse here]. . . or worst yet, they'll just say, 'No!'"
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