October 2, 2007


In sales, a referral is the key to the door of
resistance --- Bo Bennett
To get referrals, you need to be referrable. That means showing respect and appreciation. In turn, that requires that you:
  1. Show up on time
  2. Do what you say
  3. Finish what you start
  4. Say "please" and "thank you"
This list comes from How The Best Get Better by Dan Sullivan. It's memorable but seems too simplistic until you think --- or read this post.
Show Up On Time
This can be a challenge in a a gridlocked city like Toronto. You can easily arrive way too early or way too late. Naturally, earlier is better. Thanks to mobile phones or Blackberrys, you can use the extra time productively. Or you can just use the time to relax or think.

Eighty percent of success is showing up --- Woody Allen

Scheduling appointments during off-peak hours makes arrival times more predictable. Meetings close to home are good for mornings and close to work is good for afternoons. GPS makes a great navigator --- especially if you're detoured or make a wrong turn.
Do What You Say

It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises but only performance is reality --- Harold S. Geneen

We sell the intangible: our services. Keeping our promises --- however small --- builds trust. Without consistency, the trust vanishes. My dental office always phones to remind me of my appointment. Today they did not. What will happen next time?
Finish What You Start
Don't get me started ;)

We shall neither fail nor falter; we shall not weaken or
tire ... give us the tools and we will finish the job — Winston

Say "Please" and "Thank You"

I wish to thank my parents for making it all possible ... and I wish to thank my children for making it necessary — Victor Borge

Courtesy stays in style. Advisors are generally good with this ... until the sale is made. As research from LIMRA and others shows, clients aren't thanked enough through ongoing post-sale monitoring.
The Problem With Smart, Talented and Charming
We all know people who are great in some areas but we wouldn't give them referrals. Sullivan notes that
  • smart people are arrogant
  • talented people are erratic
  • charming people are undependable
So the rest of us have a chance :)

1 comment:

  1. Nice one, it's important to say please and thank you and it is even more important to FINISH what you start.

    Good points