When I speak with business owners about what marketing they do and the way in which they receive business it is no surprise to me when they say that they prefer business by referral and that it is the best way to get a lead. Who wouldn’t want to receive business via referral – it means that someone else is saying nice things about you and your business and promoting you.
However, when we start to discuss referral strategy and how they are attracting that business by referral it becomes clear there is a sometimes a slight confusion over what is a sales activity and what is a referral activity as part of their strategy.
I like to use the analogy of sports when trying to explain the difference between creating sales and creating referrals. So, let’s take Golf & Football.
Both golfers and football players spend countless hours becoming experts in their sport. They are both tremendous athletes and they spend thousands of hours on training and being coached often by multiple different coaches!
And yet, the professional football player could never make the pro golf tour. Although both are great athletes, being great at one sport does not make you great at the other.
The same is true in sales and referrals. Being good at one doesn’t make you good at the other one.
Golf is an individual sport that relies on the dedication, skill and commitment of the individual to become best at what he or she does. Apart from the coach and perhaps the caddy that goes around with them on the course, each shot is down to that one person.
Football is a team sport. It relies on good communication, an understanding of the roles of everyone on the team and the execution of the game plan by all the players in order to try and gain success.
Referral Marketing is a team sport. You can’t do it on your own, you must have a well-trained team working around you to help you in order to achieve success for each other.
When you are in sales mode, you are mostly working alone. When you are in a referral mode you are working together with a team.
In order to be in a referral mode and build business by referral you must have the right mindset. You must start being open and be prepared to bring people with you on the journey.
So, ask yourself the question; How are you “marketing” yourself and your business? Write a list of all the ways that you are advertising and getting business and then give me a call to discuss whether they are sales activities or referral activities.
There is no right or wrong answer to the list that you will put above. However sometimes going it alone and trying to do it all yourself can be a lonely and stressful journey. Wouldn’t it be better to have people around you that can and want to help you?