As I drove up my street this morning, a squirrel carrying a very large nut crossed my path.
I commented to my daughter that the squirrels are all very busy gathering nuts these days in preparation for the winter . . . and it occurred to me that there’s another reason Squirrels gather nuts in the Fall . . . The trees PRODUCE the nuts in the Fall, so they gather as many as they can while the gettin’s good and before the snow Falls and covers them.
The “nuts” for every business are LEADS/Prospects . . . and the BEST ones come by way of REFERRALS because they’re WARM leads who already have some element of built-in trust.
To some degree, people who come to us by referral are already “Pre-Qualified” because people who refer tend to refer people who are just like themselves . . . and odds are good that if they are referring their friends, family, and work associates to you, they themselves know you, like you, and TRUST you.
These nuts are easier to gather once the referrers are “Properly Trained” to refer 🙂
My mind then took me a little further down a path that I started meandering down during a Mastermind Session I attended yesterday hosted by Lender extraordinaire Gavin Gossett with Residential Finance. Gavin@gavinGossett.com 615-400-4663 (Home)
Gavin is an accomplished student of Sales and Lead Generation and IMHO has his priorities in all the right places. He knows that the best way to generate more leads for his business is to build great relationships with the right people. Gavin always comes from curiosity and abundance (and generosity).
At the tail end of the session, one of the participants very passionately expressed his frustration with “coming up with the right script to talk to his clients and people within his sphere of influence about how IMPORTANT referrals are to HIM, his family, and his business.”
After all, we Real Estate Sales Professionals NEED LEADS because we NEED to make a living to feed our families and keep a roof over our heads and cover our overhead . . . How do we communicate these NEEDS to people with whom we do business and interact such that they completely understand to the point that they deliver a steady flow of leads for our business?
The moment he started speaking, his passion was palpable. there was a WHOLE LOT of NEED oozing out of every pore. As he talked, I heard nothing but “I” and “ME” . . .
and I kept wondering:
- What’s in this for the person who would be referring?
- Is there any benefit for THAT person?
- Why should they go out of their to refer?
- Are YOUR needs reason enough?
- Is this a plea for charity?
If your “script” is all “I” and not much “YOU,” your “student” is going to shut down and very well may avoid referring folks . . . because it’ll always be in the back of their minds that you will later hurl that same script at THOSE people.
I have a life-long friend in the Life insurance business who I would NEVER refer after having endured a couple of years of literal BADGERING from him to supply him with 5 leads at every contact . . . that got old FAST.
Like it or not, every one of us has in the back of our minds:
“What’s In It For Me?”
Make this more about THEM and less about YOU (and your needs), and you’ll gather more nuts.
You see? What most folks do is create and polish slique scripts and dialogues to CAPTURE referrals . . . to guilt or shame their current and past clients, friends, family, and acquaintances into providing them with leads . . . and they find some begrudging success.
What the “Vital Few” professionals do is build strong relationships with everyone with whom they make contact – EVERYONE!
As Gavin so eloquently communicated, they selflessly engage with FORD
As we get to know these folks better, invariably we find common ground . . . and we learn how WE can best serve THEM!
What’s in it for them?
How does this relationship with you benefit THEM?
Other than the fact that you’re AWESOME, I’d say they benefit by receiving “appropriate service” from YOU! You understand their passions and needs and can intentionally help them achieve their dreams.
There’s a wonderful by-product of this . . . As people around you figure out that you’re a contributor of value to their lives, they will reciprocate.
Next thing ya know, they’re asking you FORD . . .
and subsequently will help you achieve YOUR dreams by . . . Referring everyone they know to you when they hear of folks in need of your services.
Here’s the kicker . . . You can do ALL of this in the FIRST meeting with anyone . . . in an hour or less.
Get started on creating this culture of abundance throughout your sphere of influence, and you’ll never run out of nuts.