The bad back and the Referral Engine

referral engine

Is your engine working?

I’m crippled with my back at the moment, would you know of a good chiropractor?” my client asks.

We automatically find ourselves wanting to solve their problem, be helpful and resourceful …. Who do we know? Thinking cap on … Yep, a name of one came up in conversation recently or maybe we spotted a blog post or a tweet, maybe we spotted an advert or a piece of editorial.

In any case we want to be helpful and even if we haven’t had a personal experience with a bad back and scientifically been in a position to carefully assess the attributes and success rate of all the chiropractors in the local area we offer up a suggestion ” Norman Wesson is supposed to be really good“.

..job done and hopefully Norman was able to solve the client’s back trouble.

Every day we are asked for recommendations and mostly we offer them without truthfully knowing scientifically that who we are recommending is the best option available.

80% is the statistic that is always quoted as the source of business that we get from referrals and word of mouth – we find ourselves that a lot of business comes this way but often it comes via surprising sources, frequently from people that we have never actually done business with.

John Jantsch in his clever book The Referral Engine makes the point that if we accept the 80% principle about the power of referrals then we need to make sure that we make it easy for people to recommend us, that our “engine” is in good working order.

So how about looking after your engine….

– Do Great Work!
– Send Regular Newsletters
– Attend Networking Events
– Advertise
– Optimise your Website
– Get Editorial about what you do
– Host an Event
– Write Blog Posts about your area of expertise
– Boost your Visibility on Social Media platforms
– Ask for happy clients to Recommend you (LinkedIn is a great place for this)

Whatever you do, make sure that the next time someone is looking for someone in your area of expertise that your name springs to mind!

That Fuzion crowd are supposed to be a brilliant PR firm by the way …!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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7 Responses to “The bad back and the Referral Engine”

  1. Anne Kiely Says:

    I agree – word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t happen automatically and we need to earn those recommendations. I find BNI good for learning about how to get the best out of networking. I can also recommend Dan O’Donoghue of Networking Made Simple (he’s based in Kerry) as a great trainer in this area. Find him on LinkedIn!

    • Greg Canty Says:

      thanks for the comments Anne – I must admit , I don’t like BNI – I feel it is a form of pyramid selling and the model is designed to work against the participants as it grows. On one day I received the same letter inviting me to join by three different people.

      One of them cam back to me after and admitted they were embarrassed sending the invite letters but they “had to” as part of their membership … I don’t think so !!

  2. dub1 Says:

    Exactly right yet again.
    In Ireland locals will give directions when asked even if they’re not quite sure they’re correct just to be helpful!

  3. claredotcom Says:

    An interesting article, and an often overlooked business tool, the referral or recommendation. I know when I had moved to a new area and was getting work done on the house, I knew no tradespeople in the area, who was good and who was bad. We relied enormously upon the power of recommendation, and in fairness we now have a pool of dream plumbers, electricians and carpenters!

    My first tool of choice when trying to find anyone to do anything is the web and I found it almost impossible to either find businesses or find recommendations.

    I found this so frustrating I’m actually creating a site to deal with this need – I want people to be able have a space to crown those businesses that provide a fantastic service or are reliable or good value – a national garden fence or breakfast meeting where you can ask “do you know of a good…”

    So thank you Greg, your article was timely and reminds me I must get cracking!

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