Thursday, April 19, 2007

Aim For The 100% Referral Practice (It’s Simpler Than You Think)

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
--Maya Angelou

Referrals. Everyone wants ‘em, but few are willing to ask for them for fear of seeming pushy, desperate or sleazy. If you ask self-employed individuals how they would ideally like to build their businesses, they would tell you ‘by word of mouth.’ Why? Because…

  • It’s an ongoing, renewable process.

  • You don’t have to spend money on advertising.

  • Referrals most often end up being high quality clients.

  • You don’t have to build trust from scratch; it’s built for you.

  • You don’t have to sell yourself (someone already did that).

  • They come to you already pre-sold and often ready to buy.

Can’t beat it. But why are referrals so elusive, so hard to come by sometimes? I think that most people just aren’t familiar with the idea that you can actually DO something to generate referrals, beyond waiting by the phone or asking your clients over and over again, sounding like a broken record. Personally, that’s not my favorite thing to do, so I leave that tactic for the sales sharks out there. That’s just not my style.

The good news is, I have found some really good, authentic, and comfortable techniques for generating referrals. I personally have a handful of systems in place with every client to ensure that they continue to think about sending referrals and they inevitably do. I then turn around and teach them to implement these same techniques with their own clients, so they too have referrals coming to them effortlessly.

Now, wait a minute, before you start thinking, “Does Fabienne really have a 100% referral-only practice?” the answer is ‘No, of course not.’ I still market regularly using my own marketing plan. It works for me, as opposed to me working for it. And if you’ve worked with me privately, been to my live seminars or purchased the home study manuals, you know that each slice of the marketing pie works systematically and consistently to get you clients.

And ONE of the pieces of the marketing pie is setting up this Referral System. There are half a dozen elements to it, but today, I want to focus on one of the most important referral-generating techniques, so you can get closer to the 100% referral practice too. Getting referrals from existing clients. It’s all about how you make your client FEEL.

Now, you’d think that every client who experiences great results from working with you will automatically send you clients. Not so. For some reason, there are some who do talk about you and refer clients to you, and some who won’t do it automatically. But I’ve found that if you treat a client really well, and genuinely make them feel good, they just become your ambassador and start telling others about you, like crazy.

But it’s got to be authentic. If you’re pretending to make a client feel good and they see through that, you’ve lost the trust you had with them. Instead, look at how you can make each point of contact with them something that they enjoy or remember.

Obviously, you want to add Incredible Value. When a client is getting more than they expected or are paying for, they will most likely refer others to you, often. My purpose in coaching is to have the client receive so much more value than they’re paying for that, 1) cannot afford NOT to work with me and, 2) they cannot help but tell others.

When you offer Incredible Value, clients are telling others about you mostly because people are asking THEM what they’re doing to get clients so quickly, and they end up talking about you and referring you to others.

But here’s the key. If you’ve made them feel really good too, clients become really proud of your relationship, and they’ll want to tell others about you even more. How do you make them proud of the relationship? My answer is with integrity, caring, and by going above and beyond just for the sheer fun of it.

Your Assignment:

How does a client feel when they’re working with you? Like another notch on your belt, like your next mortgage payment, or like a cherished member of your inner circle?

  • Do you pick up the phone genuinely excited to talk to them?

  • Do you go out of your way to encourage them and make them feel good?

  • Do you send them little notes or tell them you believe in them?

  • Do you treat them like a friend and let them into your lives just a little bit?

  • Do you take a ruthlessly compassionate stand for their success?

These may seem like little things at first, but working on this alone will generate more referrals. And adding it to other simple referral systems in your own Client Attraction System™ will fill your practice FAST. Trust me, setting up these referral systems is much better than waking up in the middle of the night, sweating and turning, thinking, ‘How am I going to get clients?’ When you strive for a 100% referral practice, you stop waking up in the middle of the night and you start THRIVING.

That said, you can’t fill a practice FAST on referrals alone. It simply takes time. So you’ll also want to set up a step-by-step marketing system that will feel easy and authentic to you. The Client Attraction Home Study System™ will help you to prioritize what to work on first, helps you clear the decks and avoid all the unnecessary stuff. It gives you the most important things to do to set up simple, solid systems to consistently fill your pipeline and continually get new clients. It’s all step-by-step, not a big mishmash of things. So, you do step one of the system, and when you’re done with that, you move on to step two, and so on. So easy. All the tools, scripts, templates, and examples are handed to you on a silver platter. You can get it at

© 2007 Client Attraction LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Fabienne Fredrickson, The Client Attraction Mentor, is founder of the Client Attraction System™ and, the proven step-by-step program to attract more clients, make more m’oney being self-employed, while having more time off to enjoy it all. To receive your F.R.E.E. Audio CD by mail and get weekly how-to articles on attracting more clients, visit