18 Sep Enabling Business Referrals
This Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® topic was “Enabling Business Referrals”. The event featured Andrew Cross, Damon Pistulka, and Ira Bowman sharing information on how to develop and facilitate business referrals. They covered some of the key things you can do to find and develop referral partners. The audience provided great information in the chat to compliment the discussion.
The event then proceeded to structured networking where the groups talked about these questions.
How do you build value with connections so they are comfortable referring business to you?
How do you ask for a referral?
How do you follow up with the person referring you business as the referral proceeds?
How do you nurture your referral network?
These questions generated a lot of great information in the chat. If someone wants the chat from the event just email us and we will send.
A strictly networking event based on topics like this will be continued monthly so we can continue building our networking methods and our networks to foster success for all of our businesses.
Thanks to the people who attended and who continue to support this group. We all rise together!
About Exit Your Way®
Exit Your Way® provides a structured process and skilled resources to grow business value and allow business owners to leave with 2X+ more money when they are ready.
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Other websites to check out: Cross Northwest Mergers & Acquisitions Damon Pistulka Ira Bowman Service Professionals Network (SPN) Fangled Technologies B2B Tail Denver Consulting Firm Warren Research Stellar Insight Now CFO Excel Management Systems
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Damon Pistulka, Ira Bowman, Andrew Cross
Damon Pistulka 00:01
All right everyone. Music courtesy viral coming on. Ready to go there we go. All right. Thanks for music coming in IRA that’s, that’s always a nice added touch. Welcome everyone again to the eggs, your way round table. If and glad to have you here. Just glad to have you here. We’re gonna have a little fun today, hopefully doing some network and a lot of you know each other. There’s a few new faces in the in the crowd today, I think we’re gonna have looks like we’re gonna have about three tables of people, it’s going to work out really well for what we’re doing. It’s gonna be good. We’re gonna talk a little bit about referrals. And in really, referrals are talking about universally, whether you’re a job seeker, whether you’re a business owner, whether you’re a salesperson trying to get referrals, they’re they’re important to all of us. And in really, what we want to do is talk about, you know, the the process of getting referrals, building that connection up and doing those kind of things. And it’s something that, you know, Brad’s I know, Brad’s on the call today, Brad and Andrew and I talked about this hell it One was that Andrew, it was like, in February, March of this year is, you know, what, what would it be like if we had 100 really strong referral partners? He
Andrew Cross 01:33
and Brad Smith pointed out? Have you asked for one? Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 01:39
yeah, exactly. Exactly. So we’re gonna talk about that today, too. But it’s, it’s true. It’s really you think about it, and you go, Okay, what what if I had that I had X amount of good people that are referring me business consistently, or I knew would refer me business if it came around. So it’s really getting that set up and thinking about, you know, how you’re really building that network and what you’re doing and how you’re nurturing that. So what I was hoping we were talking about today are some of those things we’re going to run through at about 810. Here, we’re going to whenever we finish this part, we’re going to run through a few rounds of networking, that’s going to finish up about 840. We’ll do a quick wrap up about 845. There’s other things we’re going to talk about until nine we’re done at nine. I know I had that I just realized today had the meeting request wrong goes till 930. Everybody’s going to get an extra half hour in their day that they didn’t think they had bonus. And and we’ll go from there. So Andrew, what what are your thoughts on referrals? And and the whole the whole topic today?
Andrew Cross 02:50
Awesome. But I think Well, I mean, we just keep looking back and figuring out where our business comes from. And I think it’s it’s huge. 80% is probably referrals, you know, the, you know, go having that introduction, even though even if it’s a soft referral. This makes it you know, an immense difference. So it’s really I love that the idea of really focusing on this and seeing how we can get the most out of out of referrals amongst all of us too, because they’re everywhere to be had.
Damon Pistulka 03:21
They are they are in Iraq, what what are your thoughts on on the topic?
Ira Bowman 03:26
So referrals are the key to success. I don’t care if we’re talking about online or offline, I’ve been a referral based salesman. For my whole career. Bowman digital media has never paid a penny in advertising. I haven’t spent one single penny in my operating budget. And none of it goes towards any paid advertising. And I haven’t had to 100% of my business so far. At Bowman digital media has been referral based either people I know directly, or people that are one offs, basically, like, Hey, I know them, they said that you do a good job at this. We want to work with you. Great. Okay, so the biggest thing and Brad Smith hits on it. One of the reasons why I get the referrals that I get is because I’m not shy about asking for referrals. And you can you can do it in a couple different ways. You know, you can you can write somebody a direct message and email or letter and say, Hey, you know, can I get referrals? I’d be happy to give you referrals, which is a part of this. And Mike has alluded to this in the in the comments already know, service Professionals Network comm that platform is basically based on this idea of let’s do win win networking, which comes down to a couple of things. But really what it boils down to, if you look at it from a business standpoint, is when you know somebody who needs what I do, you send them to me and when I know somebody who needs what you do, I’m going to send them to you so that people are thinking like that throughout their regular day. That’s great. referrals. The reason why they work is they. They’re based on trust. It’s borrowed trust. It’s like, it’s like a extended credit for somebody who hasn’t earned it from you yet, but they’ve earned it from somebody that you trust. So they’re basically saying I vouch for God help me, Mike O’Connor. I vouch for that sucker. You know? Anyways, guys for Wichita’s Alright, anyways,
Damon Pistulka 05:28
I just learned it is it’s a it’s about it’s about that part of it and in how you are a, you you’ve selected the right people to be a referral referral person that you’re going to spend the time and then be how are you going to develop that relationship to be able to ask for the referral? And then how are you going to follow up once you get the referrals? Well,
Ira Bowman 05:53
all of that’s important. I want to say this though, if you’re having trouble getting referrals, it is likely it’s just like people who make posts on social media who don’t get any comments, they don’t get any engagements and they don’t know why. It’s like, Well, you know, why is because you’re not doing that yourself. Like you have to, you have to lead by example. You have to you have to be the one who instigates it, initiate it, and you know, start conversation. So if you want referrals, then start giving people referrals. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s the, that’s the bottom line, it comes down. This world is full of people that are self absorbed, or they’re, they’re lazy. There’s a whole variety of issues. But you know, it’s easier to do nothing than it is to do something. So, yeah, for most people, if you’re kind to them, they’re going to be kind of back. Right, they give, they give you what you give them. So what
Andrew Cross 06:48
if you got really important that you’re talking about those? were, you know, they have getting referrals? It’s a good feedback loop into whether you’re doing the right things or not. Right. And I think giving referrals out is one aspect of it too. You know, having that trust with the person refers you to also, you know, do they have the trust of the people that they’re referring to as well, right? Well, you don’t know that until you build that relationship, but and
Ira Bowman 07:18
that, you know, the quality, the quality of the referrals, sometimes people are just throwing out your name, but there’s nothing, you know, so you can make 10 referrals, but they’re all kind of like, and great twos and threes. Or you might get you know, one, one referral every three months from somebody, but it’s like super solid, they’ve already pre qualified for you. They’re like a good match. And that would be like a nine or a 10 out of 10. Yeah, so it’s not just about the quantity of the referrals, it’s also about the quality.
Damon Pistulka 07:51
So I get paid, great
Ira Bowman 07:52
point. services for leads lead gen Oh, I’m gonna send you five to six leads a week, or I’m gonna send you five, six leads a day. They’re all garbage, then what’s the point of that? So, Leslie,
Damon Pistulka 08:04
yeah, makes a good part of point here. You know, both referrals and introductions are important. And I agree. And, and they are, they are kind of, you know, the introductions are good. And that’s you need to be if you’re looking for to build your network or trying to connect with a certain different, I guess, different level different type of group. That’s a introductions are your way into those groups? A lot of times? Yeah, that’s a that’s a good thing as well, we could
Ira Bowman 08:35
we could talk about that strategies for introductions and referrals, which I think are to Andrews point, I think they’re both important I try when I give a referral to make the introduction at that point. Yeah, just give like if I want to, if I want to introduce Andrew, since he made the comment, if I want to introduce Andrew to somebody refer Andrew, his business services to somebody, what I would do on social media, is I would start a private chat. And I would put the person that I’m trying to introduce or refer to Andrew and Andrew in a chat together. Now, what’s cool about that on LinkedIn, is they don’t have to be directly connected. And they’re likely not if I’m referring them, and yeah, so now they can start to talk. And typically what I do is I will start the chat, and I will let them know like, Hey, I think that you guys would be good. And here’s why give them out. So they don’t have to like do that dance. And then I just want to make sure that they communicate with each other. And once they do, then I typically will back out of that conversation. Yeah, talk pricing or whatever that you know what I mean, because that’s none of my business at that point. But yeah, that’s how that’s how I do it on social media. You know, you make a great point there because I when when when I get a referral and somebody just says hey, Damon and you should call Bob or Sandy they need your you know, they they they might be interested how Well, that’s, in my mind, that’s not really a referral. Someone just told me about a potential and it’s like, it’s like, you know, semi semi referral, man. It’s just not really the referral. The real referral is, like you said, I’m going to email Adam. Adam talked about creating your own introduction, email. Don’t come back to that for sure.
Damon Pistulka 10:22
Yeah, you know, you got to have that introduction email that goes along with that referral to that that person that you’re referring someone to, that says, hey, I’m referring Adam Deutsch to you, Jim, because I think he can help you out with this. And that is a that is that is any introduction slash referral that I feel allows Andrew to take the next step, and reach out, set up an appointment and, you know, conduct his his work.
Ira Bowman 10:53
I’m gonna I’m gonna say something, I want to interject something here. And this goes to LinkedIn recommendations, and it goes to referral letters or referral emails. I think the very best ones are the ones that are the most simple and down to earth, because they’re come, they don’t come off as a sales pitch. If I read a referral letter from somebody, or a message from somebody who knows me, let’s say it’s you, Damon, you and I speak every day, right? So if you send me an email, that’s four frickin paragraphs long, and reads like a brochure, I’m gonna know that that’s horseshit. Somebody wrote that and sent that to you and said, sign it. And that’s not really taught. Yeah, you want to know what I think the most believable referrals are one or two sentences and say, Hey, dude, this guy can give you a kick ass website, and you’ll get it done quickly. Yeah, nobody’s gonna write you don’t need Adam. Look, you’re doing financial services. And I actually Oh, that guy call I’m such a jackass. Anyway, sorry, Adam. I owe you a call. I will call you today. So here’s the deal. Like, I don’t agree. I understand. Look, I have a marketing degree. I understand fancy words and keywords and all that stuff. I get it. But I think the advanced the masterclass comes down to what we’re talking about is trust. Yeah. Oh, Andrew said it, and I 100% agree with it. You’re you’re using the trust that’s already been established. They know what you need, they know what they do. And they’re saying, guys, you guys should get together. And that’s how you get well.
Andrew Cross 12:31
Yeah, and that’s, you know, but that’s a that’s a lot of talking about it in the comments there a little bit. That’s, you know, in order to get referrals, you need to be refer, you know, a referral source to but it takes work. You know, Damon, what David’s talking about, too, isn’t necessarily just you need this from them. But you’re actually talking, this is the deepest level, you’re talking to that person. Like they’re your client, you’re understanding Hey, you know, I’m really frustrated. I’ve been working on this website, I had this this problem. And you know what, you know, I know I was so well, that I go, you should talk to a Repo Man, because he did this and that for this other customer. Hey, even look at his website, right? Because I know that because I talk about it. Right? You know, I and I, you know, it’s that background work. That’s the highest possible level. But man, it’s a lot of work. Right. That’s the other thing to it isn’t Flim Flam just right? Yeah.
Ira Bowman 13:20
You have it, there’s it there’s that intimate or intricate knowledge that has for the best referrals they come from? And that’s where we were talking before the show. Damon, you’re reading a book with the 550 and 100. Right. And that’s the same idea. It’s like these referrals, the best referrals are coming from that inner circle, that 50 not five minutes. Sorry, but yeah, right. You’re not. If you’re giving me a referral to somebody that you just connected with, you know, it’s not that that’s useless. It’s just that that’s not as strong because the power, the power of the referral is only as good as the relationship between the person giving the referral to the person who needs to service. Yeah. Forget Bowman digital media for a moment. If Damon’s referring me to somebody that he’s only known for three weeks, and it’s only talk to you twice, that strengthen that referrals not very good for me, even though even though I might be the perfect vendor for that person, and we still might do business, but I’m gonna have to work harder to prove it, than if it’s somebody that Damon’s done business with for 15 years. And he calls up on the phone. And this is my point, Adam, that that pre written, you know, ask for a referral letter that you would give for them to send out because that’s what you’re talking about. Let me read your script. Whenever somebody needs it, send them this. You don’t need that for the best referrals because the best referrals, I can just call and say Hey, dude, Hey, Mike. Right. I talked to Mike everyday.
Andrew Cross 14:49
I think the most powerful thing you can say too, is you know, when you’re giving a referral is I you know, I worked with IRA before or I worked Yeah. No with that. To use and see what they can do. And if you look at exit your way, on the board there with our team, well, we work with all those folks. In them always, you know, I think that’s the real key is really looking hard at finding up, people get things done, right, because you can refer them, but then man that just builds your brain, then the other the doors gonna kick open, then you don’t have to go kicking the doors. In your belly, I think this
Ira Bowman 15:28
is a key point to Andrew. You know, we’ve talked about all the time we’re gonna we work with, we work with a team and exit your way. They’ve all been vetted. Right, but they’ve not only been vetted, we work with them on multiple projects all the time. So it’s like, it’s like, I’m not telling you about somebody, I think can do a good job for you. I’m telling you about somebody I know and I’ve worked with, that’s the strongest message. And, and when you when you’re given a referral like that, to somebody that, you know, that’s, I mean, I’m not even going to shop that person around, then what’s that dude, on the other side, when you’re looking to get a referral from somebody you haven’t worked with before? Or you know, you’re starting that relationship?
Andrew Cross 16:15
But that’s good. I mean, I think in a way, it’s okay. It’s not impossible. And you don’t you know, you don’t get to work with everybody, obviously, to but you can find out what people are capable of, and that kind of stuff. That’s a skill set. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 16:28
Andrew Cross 16:30
You know, but rising ships, everybody’s boat goes up. Right, so well. And that’s
Ira Bowman 16:35
the strategy for the referral. If I want to summarize what we’ve just said, and you know, I’ve never actually thought about this all the way through, I guess, but there are two lanes to the referrals, the people that I know really well, and the people that I know of, or about, but I don’t actually know, and how, and maybe add them for, maybe it would be a good idea for me to write a template, or, you know, just give somebody some some summaries of the services I do, if I don’t know them really well. But at that point, I don’t know that they would be referring me business, I guess. But for me to refer out if I’m like, hey, Adam, is a CFO for hire. And you know, they’ll do anything from, you know, bookkeeping, bookkeeping, to any accounting help, whatever, you know, and then you give me like three different blurbs for each thing? Because I know, I wonder for you that I guess that would be good, because I’ve never actually worked with Adam. I know, Adam. And I know that I like him, even though he’s a Vikings fan. I don’t understand. But
Damon Pistulka 17:35
yeah, oh, gee, oh, gee, you didn’t have to grow up. I grew up in the shadow of the Vikings. I hated it. But anyway, good point, I can’t even start talking about football. Because does makes a good point. He says referrals are not a quick flash in the path plan, you know, for growth, it’s long term growth plan.
Ira Bowman 17:56
I think it’s the best way to grow in it.
Damon Pistulka 18:01
Yep. So we’re coming up, we got to get into the networking here, because we can talk about this and the comments are gone well, but there’s a few things that I wanted to get some generate some ideas on. And we’re gonna, we’re gonna wrap this up about 845. And then we’re going to do a let you finish up. And we’re going to be done by nine. I’m sorry, I didn’t get the meeting right today, but it will be next week. But the first time, what we want to do is we want to jump to the tables. If there’s somebody new, let’s do a quick introduction around the table, who you are, how you help people, and why you’re networking today. And then there’s two questions in the first sessions that I want to talk about. One is, how do you build value ahead of the referral? Because how do you get? How do you build that with someone as identified? Hey, everyone, Andrew Krause, we want to work together now be a good referral partner. Now, what do I do to build that referral?
Andrew Cross 19:04
So is the referrer that you’re seeking? Is that the avatar that that we’re talking about? Or the customer profile? So
Ira Bowman 19:11
I think it goes to who complements you like, okay, so if I’m in both digital media, and I offer, you know, graphics and website services, but I don’t do, I don’t know, whatever, I don’t do voiceover work, or I don’t do motion videos or something like that. I’m looking for partners who do those things so that when one of my clients or somebody I run into needs it, I could say, I don’t do that work, but you could use it.
Damon Pistulka 19:37
So I’m talking about I’ve found that person already, but how do I build value with them? So they are they’re going to be comfortable referring someone to me, what are the steps you take? What are some specific things you do? So let’s go to the tape. And then the second question that I want to talk about in this same session is how do you Then ask for a referral from that person,
Ira Bowman 20:04
the first time the first, the first, break the ice.
Damon Pistulka 20:07
Yeah, break the ice referral. So I’ve spent the time doing whatever we’re going to talk about the building the value ahead of the referral. Now I’m going to break the ice with asking the referral. How do you do that? So those are the two things, but we’re going to do a quick run around introduce everybody. If you don’t know someone go around the table, we’re going to get
Ira Bowman 20:28
what’s that? How long? Do we have? 10 minutes, right? 1012 minutes. Okay. Are we sitting at the same table? Are we moving?
Damon Pistulka 20:34
We’re not going to move this one. Okay, we’re not going to move. And after, after the event, there’s going to be 1010 minutes or so you can talk to somebody haven’t met and do that. I really want to spend time on how we’re going to build value. How do you ask for referrals? And then the next one we’re going to do? How do you follow up after the referral? So I’ve Andrew then referred me something, how do I follow up with Andrew? Not with it not with the person that referred How do I keep Andrew in the loop? And then the final question is, if we have time for this, how do you support those referral sources? Long term? So we’re gonna have two questions. First time two questions. So first, is how to get the referral.
Ira Bowman 21:20
Yep. How to break the ice Nance board.
Damon Pistulka 21:23
How do you build value ahead of the referral? How do you ask for the referral? That’s what we’re going to talk about now. So we’re going to go back to the tables, and
Ira Bowman 21:31
I just typed that into chat for you guys how to referral and how to ask for it.
Andrew Cross 21:37
Okay. All right.
Ira Bowman 21:38
Yeah. See, it’s tables. All right.
Damon Pistulka 21:47
Awesome. We’re getting the guys up here. Now.
Ira Bowman 21:54
I just noticed that Darth Vader’s almost directly over my head. That is so awesome.
Damon Pistulka 22:00
You coming on, there we go.
Ira Bowman 22:02
There he is. All right. He was hand pumping his internet.
Damon Pistulka 22:08
All right. Well,
Andrew Cross 22:10
I got a pedal while I’m talking to
Damon Pistulka 22:15
you kind of lives in the country. But it’s good stuff here. People, we don’t want to take much time on the stage. We’re going to drop back and do some more. in the chat, you can download the chat. There’s a lot of good stuff in here. iros. Making that making the point. When we when we get in, back to the tables, you can download chat. If you don’t download, let me know I can send it to you.
Ira Bowman 22:38
Because there’s a lot of tips, you guys, a lot of people were putting the answers. When Damon asked that question. You know, they’re putting the answers which are great. Yeah. Anyways, you can learn you can learn some stuff that can help you out. Yeah, a couple things. I just want to summarize real quick, a couple things that we talked about our table. One was you have to be professional. If you’re going to if you want people to send you referrals, you need to be referral. Yeah, I think I think Mark was the guy at our table. And he also said this, it was a Wayne Gretzky quote. And I didn’t know how to spell Gretzky. So I put it in quotes. I didn’t put the name because I don’t know how to spell Gretzky. Anyways, you know, if you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take Yeah, yeah, fantastic. Right. If you’re not asking people referrals, they don’t necessarily know that you want them and Jennifer wagman. She, she said, and which is great. You need to make sure people know that you’re open for new business. And I had this happen to me the other day, one of my friends, he’s my very good friend, he reached out to me, and he sent me a competitive quote from one of my competitors and said, Hey, I want you to evaluate this for me, let me know if you think this is a good deal. And I thought it was pulling my chain. But he was serious. He was gonna use my competitor to do work that I do. And I’m like, why would you not use me? He’s like, well, I see you posting all the time. It looks like you’re too busy. I’m too busy. I’m
Damon Pistulka 23:54
looking for new clients. Yeah,
Ira Bowman 23:56
yeah. So to Jennifer’s point, you need to let people know that you are willing to take business and asking for referrals is a good way to do that.
Andrew Cross 24:04
Yeah, yeah. In our table, Melissa or Ella came up with give and ask receive. Yeah,
Ira Bowman 24:10
I take that. That was one of the reasons why I said download the chat guys, because I didn’t I wouldn’t have necessarily seen that. And I’m sure there’s other things that I’ve missed. So that’s a good
Damon Pistulka 24:18
one. And Mike Microsoft in the same thing. He was he was talking about Hey, get referrals to support your network that there’s nothing better you can do then do that. We also talked about the you know, the the follow up when someone refers you don’t just let that that referral fall into a black hole with a person that that referred someone to you right. So Andrew referred someone to me, I should reach back out to Andrew and let them know what’s happening, what the result was. And and then if you’re going to do work with them, follow up once in a while with the person referring and let them know.
Andrew Cross 24:56
Well, we just did that and it wasn’t the right fit. We circle back with them to tell the refer why it wasn’t the right fit. And guess what? We just got a referral today. Again,
Damon Pistulka 25:06
Yeah, we did. Yeah, we did.
Ira Bowman 25:08
Yeah. And the other thing about that, okay, so if someone sends you a referral, Andrew, you send me a referral. It is polite, it is the right thing to do to respond a to say thank you. So make sure you’re thinking always do that. What if you want more referrals from somebody shows them that you appreciate the ones that they’re giving, even if they’re not great? that feedback is good, because in the future, they can give you better ones too. But also just showing them your appreciation, and it doesn’t have to be financial. It can just be a thank you. Thank you does go a long way. I never expected anybody to send me a check for a referral. All I ever really wanted was referrals in return.
Damon Pistulka 25:45
Andrew Cross 25:47
That so Exactly. Ready for
Damon Pistulka 25:51
the question, Mark.
Ira Bowman 25:53
When we go back to the tables, yeah. Over the chat, there’s a little box. It’s a rectangle with an arrow pointing down. So it doesn’t say download, but it’s a picture icon, if you will, that get to download the check.
Damon Pistulka 26:05
Yep. So Andrew, take us out. We’re going to go back to the tables. And then we’ll finish up any old five minutes after something and do that. We’ll have some time here at the table. So yep, smell great.
Andrew Cross 26:16
Pretty good wrap up. what’s what’s next week bringing
Damon Pistulka 26:19
next week we’re going to talk about mental health.
Ira Bowman 26:25
I thought we were bootstrapping a business.
Damon Pistulka 26:27
Ira Bowman 26:28
that we were bootstrapping your business next week. I got my week. We
Damon Pistulka 26:33
were talking about bootstrapping in business in two weeks.
Ira Bowman 26:35
Yeah. So look, if you’re in the audience right now, and you want to own a business, but you don’t think you can afford to own a business. We’re going to tell you how you can. Yeah, I think again, the bootstrapping method.
Damon Pistulka 26:46
And then in our next next networking thing, I think it’s going to be on the 15th to the 22nd of October, we’re going to talk about and I’ll be sending stuff out to the group too. We’re going to be talking about building your power network. Boom. Yep, boom. Good stuff. All right, going back to the tables. Thanks a lot.