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Small Business Marketing

Stacey Brown Randall Discusses Referral Tactics for Local Business Owners

Most local small business owners know that getting word-of-mouth referrals from their customers is key to growing their business while keeping marketing costs as low as possible.  However, very few understand what they need to do to make those referrals more likely to happen.

Luckily for them, Stacey Brown Randall has a proven system for dramatically increasing referrals for a local business, and she shared the five steps of that system in episode 211 of the Small Business Marketing Minute Podcast.

Stacey is a certified productivity coach, an adjunct professor with a Master’s in Organizational Communication, and a three-time entrepreneur.  She currently has several online coaching programs designed to help business owners get more referrals and increase productivity:

  • Growth by Referrals: Growth by Referrals is a proven, step-by-step process that shows you how to create a simple, yet effective referral strategy for your business.
  • Take Control of Your Days: Productivity and time efficiency coaching and training that will give you your life back.
  • Take Control of Your Business: A business coaching and live accelerator program that will put you back in the driver’s seat of your business.

In my podcast interview with Stacey, we discussed:

  • The three most common mistakes small business owners make when it comes to referrals
  • The five steps of her referral marketing system for local businesses
  • Whether or not local networking groups are worth your time and energy
  • Why you’re doing it wrong if you have to ask for referrals

In addition to all the information she provided in the podcast, Stacey also has a guide called The Seven Deadly Sins of Referrals, which you can download here.

To listen to the podcast, hit the play button on the embedded audio player below, or scroll down to read the transcript of our interview.


Kevin:                   Stacey, welcome to the podcast.

Stacey:                 Thank you so much for having me Kevin.

Kevin:                   I want to start with a really basic question that might seem kind of obvious, but when we start diving into it, I think it’s actually not. That is simply, what is a referral?

Stacey:                 That’s a great first question to ask, and I think it’s one that is usually easily overlooked. Most people just think they know, “Oh I know what a referral is.” Then when you kind of dig into when people say, “Hey, I got this referral,” and then you kind of dig into what it really was, they’re kind of surprised to learn there’s actually a couple of different things it could be.

There’s definitely the referral, which I’ll give the official definition of that in a second. It could have been a warm lead. It could have been word-of-mouth buzz, or it could have been an introduction. What most people don’t recognize is that those are four different types of perspective new clients coming your way, and they come your way in four different kind of ways.

I think it’s important to know the definition, because if you’re gonna have a referral plan, you need to make sure you’re attracting what an actual referral is. But also, when you sit down with someone who was just introduced to you and not referred to you, the language that you use in that first meeting is really critical too to make sure you can move them along to hopefully a buying customer.

When I talk about referrals, I say there’s two things a referral has to have. A referral has to have a personal connection, which means you have to be connected to the other person. When that’s in a live setting, that happens like at a networking event, “Hey Tommy, meet Kevin,” and you’re there literally bringing those two together and having them meet face-to-face.

Or it happens virtually, usually over email. That’s when I would send an email saying, “Hey Tommy, you’ve gotta meet Kevin.” I would do both of that, and I would have both of you copied on the email and introducing you guys to each other because there’s a connection there.

Then the second part that a referral has to have is the need has to be identified. This person who’s being referred to you has to know, they have to have identified for themselves, yes I have a need, and it’s being identified, and it’s being told to you. So if I was introducing you to Tommy, if I was connecting you with Tommy over email, I would say, “Hey Kevin, Tommy and I were having a conversation. He’s really struggling with some parts of his marketing. I told him you’re the guy to go to. He’s gotta talk to you about if you guys would be a fit to work together.”

So I’ve connected you guys together, and I have identified the need of why I’m connecting you. If it was just an introduction, I would just literally connect you guys, but I would never say, “You should talk about working together.” I would just say, “Hey, you guys should meet and grow your network and happy connecting.” Right? That’s the difference between an introduction and a referral.

Word-of-mouth buzz, usually the need is identified, but not the connection, which is the opposite of an introduction. If an introduction has the connection but no need, word-of-mouth buzz, if I was having this conversation with you, I would say, “Hey Kevin, I was talking to Sally the other day and raving about how great you have been with marketing for my business. She’s gonna reach out.” But I didn’t connect you to Sally, so I didn’t actually put you in the driver’s seat of being able to follow-up. So it’s missing that connection piece. Totally talked about Sally, and why she should hire you, but I didn’t connect you to Sally, so you’re not in the driver’s seat to follow-up.

Kevin:                   Yeah. I would say that that second type of non-referral that you just mentioned is by far the most common, and by far the one I hate the most.

Stacey:                 Yes.

Kevin:                   Especially with local small-business owners, they’re so busy that the chances of them actually following up with the person that they were encouraged to call is just about zero.

Stacey:                 It is, and you know what? It’s probably not because Sally doesn’t actually value my opinion and trust me that you are the guy to go to for marketing. But exactly what you said, Sally’s busy, and Sally’s got a lot of things going on. The odds of her remembering, no matter how great her pain is, are slim to none. Right? Unless I make it easy for you to follow-up with Sally. That’s why that connection’s so important. If I can’t get a referral out of warm lead, word-of-mouth buzz, and introduction, I want word-of-mouth buzz. But it’s almost like that referral you just can’t touch. You know? It’s so close, yet it’s so far away.

Then a warm lead, which a lot of people think, if I were to say, “Hey Kevin, I know that company ABC down the road really needs some marketing help, and you should give them a call and use my name. I want you to call Tom and use my name.” Most people actually think that’s a referral, and it’s not. It’s actually a cousin to a cold-call because the reality of it is, the fact that I’m not connecting you to Tom, and I don’t know if Tom understands he has a need, means it’s just a lead. It’s warmer than a cold one. Right?

So it’s a warm lead, but it’s still just a lead because I have to call. I have to initiate without the other person already have saying, “Yes, I want to talk to Kevin.” When someone does that, I always say, “I won’t follow-up, unless you can connect us in an email.” What I typically find out is the person who’s telling you about company ABC or XYZ, and why you should call Tom, is because they actually know that company needs the help, but they haven’t told that company they need the help. So they don’t really … Where they know it, the company doesn’t know it. If the company doesn’t know it, they’re not gonna buy anything.

Kevin:                   It can be kind of embarrassing to reach out to them and say, “Hey, so-and-so mentioned you need help,” and the company’s like, “What? No we don’t. Our marketing’s fine. Our website’s awesome. What are you talking about?”

Stacey:                 “We are crushing it.” I just think it’s really important that people kind of understand. When we’re talking about a referral, the reason why people want referrals, the holy grail of all things business development, is because they come to you ready to buy, less price sensitive, already trusting you, and they’re what I call, they’re “ready to go” because they come in with their need’s been identified, and they’ve been connected to you. All you have to do is not blow it.

Kevin:                   Right.

Stacey:                 A referral’s always yours to lose, so when tell people that I have a system that I follow that provides to me over a hundred referrals every single year, and I’ve been hitting triple digits now for a couple of years now. In my first year alone, I did 112 referrals, all of which were actual referrals because over time I developed language on how to flip word-of-mouth buzz or an introduction or a warm lead into a referral. I teach my students that, who go through my program, I teach them how to flip that into a referral, so they can make it a referral.

But this 112 referrals came, and they were true referrals, and I did it without asking. I never ask for a referral, and I think that makes what I do a little bit different from other people who are out there teaching referrals, any books that you can read or programs that you can go through. They really do focus on if you want referrals, just ask, and my opinion of that is if you’re asking, you’re doing it all wrong.

Kevin:                   Okay well let’s talk a little bit about your system [inaudible 00:08:33]. And maybe you can, you know, don’t have to give everything away, but explain maybe some of the top components of it. And maybe hit a couple common mistakes that you see local business owners making when it comes to getting that first type of referral that we talked about, which is by far the best for someone getting a personal introduction with an explanation of the need, and a reason why two people need to sit down and talk to each other.

Stacey:                 Yes. Let me start by answering the first part of your question, which are what are some of the mistakes that I see business owners doing, and then let me talk about why you shouldn’t be focused on a system from that perspective. I’ll kind of talk about what my system looks like.

The first couple of mistakes that I see a lot of local, small-business owners making is that … And what they need to understand, what keeps you from getting referrals, it’s pretty simple. The first thing is that you have to do great work because let’s be honest, nobody refers crappy work. They just don’t. They may not leave you because it’s too difficult to leave you, and they’ve dealt with some of the okay work they get from you, but not great. But they’ll never refer you anybody, so you have to do great work.

Usually, if you’re struggling as a small-business owner because I’m a solopreneur myself, I outsource a lot of stuff, and I have an assistant who works part-time, but when you want to do great work, it all comes down to your systems and your processes. So I teach people that when you’re going to do great work, you have to provide a sticky client experience. But a sticky client experience is the same experience for every client, which means it’s just a process and a system you follow.

I have a lot of folks who come to take my referrals or my referrals online program, and I always tell them, “Let’s make sure your client experience is good first,” and so a lot of times they’ll start with that program first. My Creating Sticky Client Experiences because you have to be referable. That is kind of step number one. That’s kind of a mistake I see business owners make, is that they don’t pay attention to getting their house in order before they really want to supercharge and rev up their referrals. Again, like I said, no one’s going to refer average work, and no one’s gonna definitely refer crappy work.

The second thing I see them do is that they don’t actually follow a system for cultivating beyond just the basic ways of generating business. You’ve gotta really have the system to cultivate referrals, and it’s gotta go beyond just keeping in touch, and it has to go beyond just networking. A true system that’s going to actually provide you with ongoing, consistent referrals that you can count on month in and month out to bring you new clients through referrals, through your referral sources, is you’ve gotta have a system.

Most systems out there will talk about, you know, “You just gotta keep in touch, just keep in touch.” Right? There’s tons of systems out there. There’s Touch 22 and send-out cards, and all these different systems that’s like, “Hey just keep in touch, and that’ll generate referrals.” The truth is that will generate referrals in the short-term but never for any type of sustainability or long-term.

To be honest Kevin, when I talk with my clients going through my program, I’m like, “I think it’s great how many referrals you get the first three months on the program, but I really actually don’t care about that number as much as I care about when you tell me how many referrals you’re getting year over year, three years from now.” Because that’s how you build sustainability and freedom in your small business, or you’re always a slave to bringing in new clients.

Kevin:                   Right.

Stacey:                 So the system part, kind of what it needs to look like-

Kevin:                   Before you get into that, let’s just do a quick recap of the mistakes. I’ll frame them as mistakes this time, so you can make sure we’re saying, “Okay, these are the bad things.” So not doing great work could be one big mistake, not providing a sticky client experience, and not having a system in place.

Stacey:                 Right.

Kevin:                   I would say, I agree with those 100%, and I would say that those are not just mistakes when it comes to referrals, they’re mistakes when it comes to business and marketing in general. You know? I think it’s staggering, how many businesses are out there, not just small businesses but big businesses spending tens of thousands of dollars or more on marketing, while at the same time providing a crappy customer experience. I mean just look at United Airlines. They just flushed their entire marketing budget for last year down the toilet, and it’s because of their customer experience.

Stacey:                 Yes.

Kevin:                   Great advice there, so let’s hear about-

Stacey:                 And I would add one additional mistake to that, and that is the one I mentioned earlier, which is the other mistake I see business owners make is that they ask for referrals. We can get into that in a little bit to kind of dig in why, but actually when you ask for a referral, you actually start to commoditize the relationship that you have with the person who has the potential to send you referrals, and nobody likes their relationship to be commoditized and to be extra work for them. So we want to have a system that has people send us referrals without us ever having to ask for them.

Kevin:                   Got it. I do want to talk more about that because I think that’s going to surprise a lot of people. So let’s get into your system. You can describe how that works a little bit.

Stacey:                 Sure. I always tell folks, and most people are like, share as much as you want. You know what? Here’s the thing. I’ll tell you the five steps you have to do to generate referrals, and I always tell folks the secret sauce comes in step number three. But the basic three steps that I tell people they have to do, which is how my system is built, and how I teach people to do it, is the first step is you need to know who’s referring you.

Now there’s a very good chance you have some people listening to your podcast today, and they’re like, “I don’t have any referral sources.” You need to know who’s referring you, or you need to know who should be referring you. There’s a separate process to go through cultivating referral sources when you don’t have any, and I have a great blog over on my blog post called What to Do When You Need More Referral Sources. It actually has kind of like a guide you can download. It takes you through these four steps of what to do to cultivate new referral sources.

But let’s just say, for the sake of argument, you actually have received referrals in the past, and you actually have referral sources. You may have five. You may have 25, but regardless, you have some referral sources. The first thing we have to do is identify them.

The second thing we have to do for step two, is we have to be able to differentiate them because not everyone refers at the same level. I have some referral sources of mine who give me double-digit referrals every year. Then I have some that’ll give me one or two. I’ve got some that are giving me 10 or more, and then I have some that are giving me one or two.

You have to understand that whereas everyone’s important, the person giving me 10, 11, 12 referrals in a year, I need to take care of a little bit better and a little bit differently, than I do the person just sending me two referrals a year. Not everybody will become a referral source. I think that’s the important piece people need to understand. Look for the 30% of your network, your true centers of influence, the people who come across, the people who can do business with you, that would actually be your referral sources, and then look at 30% of your clients. Those are truly the ones, whereas we’re all wired to help each other, some of us aren’t wired to think in terms of business development help for other people.

So you really have to kind of focus on, okay, who is that 30%. Most people have a couple of dozen referral sources. That’s the ultimate goal of kind of where we’re headed. Usually more than 12, but you don’t need hundreds. You just don’t. Usually, you don’t need more than like 30, if you’re taking care of those referral sources, and being very specific on how you take care of your top ones all the way down to the ones who may send you one or two a year. Where that’s just as valuable, we’ve gotta make sure we take better care of the people who are sending us 10, 11, 12.

First step is who are your referral sources, and if you don’t have any or don’t have enough, you’ve gotta have a system in place to cultivate more. Second step is differentiate between the types of referral sources you have based on the number of referrals they typically send you in a year.

For people starting out, you’re gonna have one level. I mean it’s like, these are the people who’ve referred me, and no one stands out like, I’ve gotten 15 from this person. Right? That’s okay. Eventually you will differentiate them, as people start kind of getting into the habit of referring you. That’s what we’re building. My system focuses on human psychology and human relations to build the habit of someone referring you.

Then step three is is that we have to create a referral experience. That I believe, is the piece that makes my system different from most systems out there. A lot of systems out there will focus on the “keep in touch.” Send them a card every month, send them an email article every three weeks because you thought of them, and they’ll focus on this whole “keep in touch” model.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you want to truly cultivate strong referrals, you’ve gotta go deeper. You’ve gotta form a relationship with these people because ongoing referrals and consistent referrals, only come from relationships. And relationships are only maintained through connections, and connections really do look like ongoing touchpoints.

So when I say we have to have a referral experience, I’m talking about the touchpoints you’re going to do within let’s say a calendar year, that’s how I go about my systems with my students. But you’re going to be doing touchpoints within a calendar year, somewhere between four and eight. Right? So it’s not every single month sending them a card, but you’ve gotta get this experience thing done correctly. So yes, keep in touch is a part of my system, but it goes deeper than that because it’s about forming relationships.

So those touchpoints, the outreach that you do on an ongoing basis throughout a year for your referral sources, must be what I refer to as my M&Ms. Memorable and meaningful. It’s gotta make an impact. It’s either gotta make them laugh, or make them know that you’re thinking of them. You have to go deeper. When I talk to people about building out their experiences, I say, “We have to make sure we abide by three platinum principles.”

Which is one, make it all about them. Your logo goes on nothing, if you’re gonna send something out as a gift to your referral sources because your logo is about you, not about them. So it’s gotta be all about them. You’ve gotta thank them. You’ve gotta acknowledge them. But it’s about them. What do they need?

Then the second thing is you’ve gotta be okay doing it. You gotta fit your budget. It’s gotta be authentic to you. You’ve gotta be comfortable doing it. I’ll never take a referral source to play golf because I don’t like it, and that’s not authentic to me. I would be miserable, and they would know it the whole time.

Kevin:                   Same here.

Stacey:                 Right. Then it’s gotta keep you top of mind. So not keeping in touch, but it’s gotta keep you top of mind. You don’t have to do a lot. That’s what people miss. You don’t have to do a lot to stay top of mind, but if you’re memorable, and you’re meaningful when you’re staying top of mind, it just keeps you at the top of their memory.

In my program I teach people this thing called a memory runway, and it’s what you do as it goes, if you do the stuff at the top, you do less because you’re more memorable than as you go down the runway, you have to do more because you’re not as memorable with the things at the bottom of the runway. So it’s about being meaningful and memorable, but being authentic in everything you do. We don’t do anything to say, “Well I’m gonna do this, and it’s gonna manipulate them into sending me a referral,” because that is completely against why someone sends you a referral.

The reason why platinum principle number one is, everything has to be about them, is because at the end of the day, a referral is never about you, and it is about them because they trust you. They know somebody who needs you, and they want you to solve the problem. The fact that you get a referral is just a bonus, and reversing the actual dynamic behind a referral is why people end up asking because they haven’t figured out how to recognize that a referral is never about you.

So when you ask, you make it about you. When you make the gift you send them, like a UBS flash drive with your logo on it, you make it about you. A referral’s never about you. It’s about they know someone who needs you, and they know you can solve the problem.

And that’s-

Kevin:                   Excellent point there, and I think that that kind of gets to the heart of the psychology behind it because when someone makes a referral, they’re in a sense trying to build their own worth to the person that needs the help. Because if they can help that person out, that person now … They have capital they can use with that person, so even if they don’t realize it, I think with every referral there is kind of a sense of someone trying to help themselves out by helping someone else.

Stacey:                 Exactly. Right. It’s because we all believe that we operate … Well, most of us believe we operate in a social currency environment, and givers receive. So people want to help each other, and that’s how God made us. We’re actually designed to help each other, and you know I heard someone say once that help is the most powerful word in the English language because when we hear it, it actually triggers a part of our brain to figure out if we can help. We can’t always help, but if we can, we try. Right?

Kevin:                   Right.

Stacey:                 Most of us. Not everybody, but most of us. Then you know, once you know who your sources are, once you’ve differentiated them, once you’ve built your experience, and then you’re gonna execute on it, the last two steps, step four and step five are really the okay now let’s automate it in your business because you have client work to do and other things to do to run your business, like bookkeeping. So you can’t be all consumed by this system that’s going to overwhelm you. It has to be simple, and so we automate it within your business.

That’s one of the things that I teach is that, okay, let’s figure out how to put this on my calendar, in the task lists, so that you’ll remember to do something in three months. You won’t forget, and the system, whether that’s your calendar, your CRM, or whatever, it will remind you that it’s time to do something. We try to automate and systematize what we can. You still have to do the work.

If a touchpoint in your system is a random thank you card that you’re gonna send out one month to all your referral sources, you still have to sit down and write the cards. But you need the system to tell you, “Hey, you need to buy the cards because it’s time to go sit down and write these cards out, and here’s who you’re writing them for,” because you built it that way to make it easy to do in the moment. You still have to do the work though. This is not a silver bullet. This is not a pill I give you in the morning, and you have referrals by the afternoon. It doesn’t work that way.

Kevin:                   Right.

Stacey:                 Then step five is we track. We have to track to know what’s working. We have to track not only how many referrals you’re receiving, but how many people did you take from sending you one or two referrals, to now they’re sending you five or six in a year. So we want to track those that are moving up, kind of in terms of importance of referral sources, but also the number of referrals we’re receiving.

And if it’s not working, we want to tweak it because we are doing this for the long-term. I mean, yes it was awesome that I generated over 100 referrals in my first year as a business coach, but I’m more proud of the fact that three years, four years in, I’m still doing over 100 referrals.

I take less and less referrals now because I’m not really working one-on-one with clients, and more focused on my online program and the one-on-one work I do around referrals. But the reality of it is, I still get referrals that I can’t even help now because I’m really doing that anymore. That is, to me, a constant reminder that what I do is valuable, and that my referral system works because here it is, four years later, and I’m still [inaudible 00:23:16] into referrals that I really can’t even necessarily use.

Kevin:                   Right. Just to do a quick recap here, the five steps are figure out who is referring you, differentiate them, create memorable and meaningful referral experiences, automated system, and track the results. I think that long-time listeners to this podcast will recognize that you basically just described the Duct Tape Marketing System, and you could change, maybe add a couple more steps in there if you want to break it down a little further, but essentially that’s not just a referral system, that’s a marketing system.

Stacey:                 You know what? It is, and I always tell folks … And you know, I’m a huge fan of the Duct Tape Marketing System and some of the other books that he’s written. I always tell folks, the one thing that then separates this from marketing because you’re right, all those pieces sound just like a marketing system. The difference is, and it’s true in every marketing system, this is what I tell folks is the secret sauce to the entire system, is it’s the language you use when you’re doing those touchpoints. When you’re doing those memorable and meaningful touchpoints and outreach to your referral sources, it’s the language that you use, which is very crucial.

And it’s one of the things I teach, that allows you to plant referral seeds, so that you never have to ask, so that it starts forming the habit as to why are they getting this water bottle? Or why are they getting this random thank you card, or why are you calling? It’s the language that we use that allows us to plant referral seeds, and that is the heart, kind of like the secret sauce, of letting the whole system work.

Kevin:                   Excellent. Excellent. I know we’re just about out of time. Do we have time for one more question?

Stacey:                 Absolutely.

Kevin:                   Okay, because there’s something I really want to ask you, and I think many of my listeners would be curious to hear your take on this as well. As I mentioned before the interview, I’m a former BNI member. I started a chapter of that organization, and I saw how effective it could be for certain people. Not everybody thrives in that kind of system. What’s your take on local networking groups that are sort of based around the idea that members are going to refer business to each other? Where do you think that fits into the whole referral marketing picture?

Stacey:                 I think that if you’re going to take advantage of networking opportunities, you need to network with a purpose and a plan. I think that goes for anybody. I know that as my referrals have increased, I am less reliant on networking. There are still some groups that I believe in, and I show up, and I support on a monthly basis because it feeds me as a business owner and as a human, not because I expect to get any work from it. Because my referral program has officially kind of taken over all other generating activities when it comes to bringing in new clients. It didn’t start that way, but that’s where it’s kind of built up over time.

I am a proponent of networking groups. I just think that you have to network with a purpose and a plan. What I’m not for, and people know I come out, and I say I’m very much against are the groups that you join that referrals are a mandatory requirement for being a member. I know all BNI groups kind of, it depends on the leader, and it depends on the mindset of the people in the group, kind of have a different opinion of that.

But if you have to show up and give four different peoples names out to four other people in that group, and you’re not really sure about the need being identified, which is at the heart of a referral, then it’s when you have to mandatory give those referrals, I’m completely against groups that are built on that framework. I have seen some BNI groups or other networking groups where, “We want referrals. We’re not making it mandatory. We’re not making it a requirement for membership, but we know that as you get to know us and trust us, hopefully, you will want to refer to us.”

So networking groups can be great for you developing referral sources, so when I say network with a purpose and a plan, don’t network for business. Network with people who can actually eventually become a referral source for you and focus first on how you help them, so they’ll be more willing to want to help you. Then those people can become your centers of influence.

When I about some of the networking groups I’ve been in, and some of my best referral sources have come from them. I get great referrals from my clients, but I also get great referrals from people in my network. But it’s people I’ve formed a relationship with, and those groups that meet monthly … I mean I know people do weekly. I could never do that. But those groups that meet monthly, are really good at allowing you to develop relationships that you can then use to have those people become strong referral sources, even if you stop going to that networking group.

There’s definitely a way to use them. I just am completely against the groups that are like, “Hey to be a member, every month you have to give out one referral.” That’s not a referral. That’s a warm lead.

Kevin:                   Got it. Yeah, and I think that is sometimes the danger with those types of groups is that in an effort to meet those types of quotas, sometimes the referrals are not as good quality.

Stacey:                 Agreed.

Kevin:                   Now, I just want to finish up with one clarification because I don’t want people to walk with the wrong impression here. You’ve mentioned several times how if you’re having to ask for referrals, you’re doing it wrong. I want to make sure to differentiate the difference between asking someone to give you a referral, and asking someone to enter into some type of strategic partnership with you because I think that that’s something you do need to ask for. That can turn out to be a powerful source of referrals, but that’s sort of a different type of question.

Stacey:                 Yes. Exactly, and like you said, that’s a strategic alliance. I have some of those. Sometimes there is commission or money that’s paid, and sometimes it’s a referral of business back and forth because there’s a compliment between your services. That strategic alliance, I mean I don’t think you should have lots of them. I think that kind of starts to dilute the point of them, but yes, they will happen. They may happen over time, or that may be something you directly go after because you need X.

It’s like a CPA that wants to have a strategic alliance with a bookkeeping firm if they don’t offer bookkeeping. Right? It’s kind of like that. A strategic alliance, and you could have just a referral back and forth, process as well, or you could enter into a strategic alliance.

But to your point, you’re absolutely right Kevin. They are different, and want my system teaches is generating those referrals that you’ll never ask for, and you’ll never pay a commission on, and that people refer you because you were following the system to stay top of mind and memorable and meaningful. And they give you those referrals because they know people who need your help, and you’ve built a habit in them to refer to you, which is totally different from a strategic alliance.

Kevin:                   Right. Exactly. All right, so I know you’ve got a ton more great information to share, but that’s all the time we have. I want people to … Let them know where they can go to get that information because I think this is by far the most effective way, especially for a small or local business. If you get this system down pat, you’re probably never gonna have to hire someone like me to be honest. I mean your calendar’s probably gonna be full just from the referrals that you get.

Stacey, can you tell us where people can go. I think you’ve put together some information just for our listeners. Is that correct?

Stacey:                 Yes. Absolutely. And I will say that the point you just made, everybody still needs a website no matter how many referrals you get, and everyone still needs to have the right brand, bright and present. I can’t imagine any referrals would put you out of business.

Kevin:                   Thank you for that.

Stacey:                 So don’t worry. I still have a website and a marketing plan behind, so right, I know I focus mostly on referrals. I have, to kind of go on with some of the things that we’ve talked about like never ask, and some of those mistakes or things never to do, I have a guide that’s called the Seven Deadly Sins of Generating Referrals. It’s the big no-nos. The things you don’t want to do. We only talked about a couple of them, but there are really seven of them.

So I have that on a page that your listeners can go to. I’ll put it on my website, and I’m sure you’ll link to this in the show notes, but growthbyreferrals.com/marketingminute. So if they go to that website, they’ll be able to download for free the Seven Deadly Sins of Generating Referrals. There’s also the opportunity to take a quiz, where they can figure out where are they at kind of mastering this whole idea of generating referrals. Are they a beginner? Are they in training? Are they a referral ninja master? It kind of uses that kind of fun … It’s like a nine-question quiz, but kind of help you understand where you are.

You can also join my free Facebook group, Referrals Without Asking, and just learn a little bit more about me. Then after you learn more about me, if you’re interested in coming on board and joining with the rest of my students in my program, that opportunity will be presented to you. And if it’s not, then you certainly don’t have to do that either.

Kevin:                   All right, excellent. Like you said, we’ll put links to all those in the show notes, but we’ll also of course, just encourage people, if they’re listening to this to jot that down and go check it out and learn all about how to supercharge their business with referrals.

Stacey thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing all that great information with us today.

Stacey:                 My pleasure.



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