Chief Relationship Building Officer
Evan Thompson and Associates
When it comes to earning qualified
referrals, it’s all in the asking. If you don’t
ask or let it be known that you are seeking
referrals, chances are that many clients,
prospects and others in your sphere of
influence may not think to refer you.
Referrals come in three varieties.
1. Qualified referrals.
Time is indeed money. That’s why I
maintain that qualified referrals are frankly
the only referrals worth receiving. This is
when the person who is referring you has
confirmed with the person in advance that
he or she needs your services and does
indeed want to talk with you. Qualified
referrals can lead to instant business.
2. Unqualified referrals
This is when a person provides a name
and a link to a person’s or company website.
They are really just leads. The onus is on
you to contact the lead using the referring
person’s name whenever possible.
3. Suggested contacts
The third category is not really referrals
but cold call suggestions based on a news
item or a speech given recently. There is no
relationship between the person referring
you and the prospect, so you are starting
Regardless of the quality of the referral
(or suggested contact) remember that first,
the person referring you is trying to help
your cause, and second, sometimes even
the hottest qualified referrals just don’t work
out due to personal fit and chemistry, bad
timing, unanticipated conflict of interest or
Asking for referrals can be daunting
for many professionals, regardless of their
reputation, their quality of relationships with
potential referral sources or the very real and
pressing need to generate revenue. You may
relish the thought of discovery new sources
of revenue, but may feel uneasy about
putting your business goals on the same
level as your client goals.
The professionals I interview agree
that mentioning your desire for referrals
with clients requires complete confidence
in your professional ability. “It is something
everyone assumes,” one advisor noted, “but
you’ve got to really believe that you would
recommend yourself to yourself if you were
a prospective client.”
Earning the referrals you want
By Evan Thompson