Referral Marketing–You Can’t Do it Alone!

At the BNI International Directors’ Conference in San Diego a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to Dawn Lyons, one of the Master Trainers for the Referral Institute, about the struggles many people face with referral marketing. As we exchanged ideas about various referral marketing issues, such as inconsistency, quality levels, lukewarm referral sources and, ultimately, the uncertainty that people can sometimes feel, Dawn told me about a new catch phrase she has been using. Her new phrase is, “Referral Marketing … You Can’t Do It Alone!” I thought, wow–it’s a pretty simple phrase, yet it’s so true that it really makes a powerful statement.

As entrepreneurs, one thing Dawn and I both know is how control-oriented most entrepreneurs are. We like to get things done ourselves, and we typically would rather go out and make something happen than wait for things to come our way. Unfortunately, those entrepreneurial tendencies don’t mesh very well with referral marketing because of an important theory that Dawn asserted people must understand. She said, “Where do referrals come from? They come from other people!” Certainly, nobody can debate that. This is exactly why Dawn’s catch phrase holds such power–referrals come from other people who trust us enough to refer us, and who have found someone in need of our services. Referrals will never be generated from an individually focused mindset.

As Dawn put it, “Suggesting that we, as individuals, can go out and make referrals happen for our business is just silly … You Can’t Do It Alone!” Other people are the key factor in helping anyone generate referral business. Dawn has written a more detailed article on this topic, which clearly explains the concept of where referrals come from and shows specific places to go in order to increase referral business. If you are out there trying to generate your own referrals, by all means, take a look at her article and stop wasting all that time and effort.

Remember, being a self-starter and possessing an entrepreneurial spirit are some of your biggest strengths; but when it comes to referral marketing … You Can’t Do It Alone!

7 thoughts on “Referral Marketing–You Can’t Do it Alone!

  1. I think one thing to realize about referrals is that you must first give before you receive…it’s the universal principle we all know well.

    Think about it, if you have sent a trusted contact 3 referrals for their business…they will feel like they owe you at least one in return.

    They may even give you a percentage of their business…you never know.

    Keep Networking!

  2. Yes Ivan,

    I agree, very profound and very true. Dawn hit the nail
    squarely on the head, relationships, that is core Referral
    Marketing. I just loved so much what you said about it until
    I had to Digg it myself. That is good stuff, will be still
    working until the end of time. Truth will set You Free!

  3. Dr. Misner,
    I recently ended a business partnership because he wanted to “do it alone”. He would not pass on work to those more qualified than us because he didn’t want them gaining from our contacts. The thought that they could reciprocate was beyond his grasp. Now my new business is thriving nearly all by referral and he is closing his.

  4. Thank you again for this site! I remember when I took the “GEMS” Seminar in New Hampshire.. (which I still like to call the “GEMinar”) and I met Dawn Lyons. I could not believe I was able to even speak with someone like Dawn who I feel is nothing but class. I was honored. Excellent trainer and an Awesome person.. I don’t think I have enough time to list all the things I learned at the “Geminar”, but I can tell you that I think I learned as much as I did because of Dawn and the the way she presented the material. I remember her saying that she wanted to travel to Greece, I hope she made it because she certainly deserved it!

    It has become clear to me that I cannot do referral marketing alone and I love meeting with people to discuss how we can best help one another…. but I’ve been feeling lately like I’m just on the verge of something spectacular, some great and magical event that will change the way I network with others forever… Kind of like some of the great stuff learned at the Referral Institute’s GEMS Seminar, but I can’t quite reach it. Does anyone know what I mean? It is like I can’t learn enough about Networking and just when I think it can’t get any better, I learn just a little more, or something just “Clicks” in a way it hadn’t before.. and I want to share it with, oh let’s say the entire BNI chapter that I belong to. But some of them don’t quite “get it” and I’m left with not being able to share this excitement with anyone except for people on these blogs, or the Yahoo Groups site.. What I like best is when I’m at a BNI sponsored training and I meet with other people who can’t seem to get enough “Training” about how to “do this the right way”. That I say “Woah.. would’nt it be just great to build a BNI chapter around all these people who actually WANT to be here?” I know there will be people who understand what I’m talking about and so to you I will say, “Let’s keep learning, and keep giving, and we will see others grow by leaps and bounds!” I’ll leave it at that. I wish you all a very Happy and Safe Holiday Season and a Propsperous 2008!

    Christopher Signore, Agent

  5. Mmmm…….women and entrepreneurship? Honey! You better believe it! Women are naturals at entrepreneurship! Remember the statement that women utilize both sides of their brains? We can analyze, forsee potential issues, communicate, emphathize, plan…need I say more? It is necessary to employ all of the above to run a successful business. In addition, women love stability! What is truly more stable…your future mobility in the hands of your boss OR your future planned and controlled by you? Whom should you trust? Besides, who would be more concerned about the level in which you retire?

    Have you noticed that typically the Executive Admistrative Assistant is a women? She can run the company in absence of the CEO! More than likely, he is going to her for all the answers in order to report intelligently to his colleagues. How ’bout that!

    So women…let’s be inspired to know that we are fully equipped to do our thing! Let’s “mind our OWN business”!

    Remember the Proverbs 31 woman? She did not have BNI, websites or cell phones. She had passion, desire, focus and courage! Sister Girl had it going on and so do you! Move forward.

    Best Regards,
    The Prosperity Queen

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