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Generate Natural Business Referrals, with Stacey Brown Randall [Episode 711]

Stacey Brown Randall, speaker, podcast host, and author of Generating Business Referrals Without Asking, joins me on this episode.

Key Takeaways

  • The best trigger for a referral is when your customer sees someone who has a problem and the customer knows you can help that person to solve it. Reps cannot control when a genuine trigger for a referral occurs.
  • A manufactured trigger, such as asking for referrals, feels uncomfortable and fake. Stacey has a five-step system to create triggers using the psychology of why referrals are given.
  • In order to receive a meaningful referral from someone, you first have to have a relationship with them and build trust with them and they must understand what you do and who you can help.
  • Before trying Stacey’s referral plan, be really clear about what your client experience is like and about building relationships with your referral sources. Your sources can be your clients or centers of influence in your network.
  • Stacey shares ideas about how many referrals and referral sources you need and how you can grow center-of-influence referral sources. It starts with being top-of-mind with them and building relationships.
  • Stacey teaches a master class on a process to turn clients into referral sources and how to turn centers of influence into referral sources. Identify with them, connect with them, meet face-to-face, and see how you can help them.
  • Be a giver, not a taker. Really understand their business and look for opportunities to give value to them. Stacey keeps a running number list of sources she is developing and a ‘keeping warm’ list she contacts often.
  • If you want to know someone, find someone you know who can make an introduction for you. You can ask for introductions but never for referrals. Plant referral seeds for people to think about you in a referral perspective.
  • Stacey shares one example of a script you can use at an event. Stacey has a free Referral Ninja Quiz you can take on her website. It’s all about weaving in the right basic language to plant referral seeds that will grow.
  • Stacey shares the steps. Step 1, know who your referral sources are; 2, properly and immediately thank someone who sends you a referral; 3, build an intentional, long-term plan for taking care of your sources.
  • Step 4, plant referral seeds using the right words; 5, Systemize the steps as much as possible so the plan, the touchpoints, and the outreach actually happen. You will be involved because it is your relationship. Use a process.
  • Your business will not be able to rely only on referrals for lead generation. Focus on metrics and activities that will generate the best results for you. Referrals come as part of a long-term plan.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  0:00

Hey friends, this is Andy. Welcome to Episode 711. That’s 711 of Accelerate, the sales podcast of record. Hey, I have another excellent episode lined up for you today. Joining me as my guest is Stacy Brown Randall. Stacy is the author of a book titled Generating Business Referrals Without Asking: A Simple Five-Step Plan to your Referral Explosion. And today we’re going to talk about why Stacy believes that you have to ask for referrals when you’re doing something wrong, and say so I’ll share why asking referrals goes against the fundamental truth of why referrals happen in the first place. And we’re gonna talk about the important distinction between someone giving us a referral, as well as asking for it, which means we make it all about us and we make it about them. Stacy is also going to share her five-step system to create triggers for getting referrals. That’s based on using the psychology of why referrals are given, so make sure you stick around for that. Okay. Let’s jump into it. Stacey Stacey, welcome to the show.


Stacey Brown Randall  2:46

Thank you so much for having me, Andy. It’s my pleasure.


Andy Paul

So you’re joining us from where today?


Stacy Brown Randall

Charlotte, North Carolina.


Andy Paul  2:51

Charlotte, North Carolina. Are you a Panthers fan?


Stacey Brown Randall  2:55

We actually are for football. We’re a house divided when it comes to baseball.


Andy Paul  3:02

Between the Nationals and the Braves?


Stacey Brown Randall  3:08

No, I mean, I guess that would make more sense. My husband is actually from upstate New York. So he is a die-hard Yankee fan. And I’m actually a Red Sox fan. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. My grandfather was from Framingham, Massachusetts. And my parents said that was kind of like my connection. And then I went on a field trip and middle school to Boston. I came back and I just never shut up about the city. And so the Red Sox have been my team ever since.


Andy Paul  3:34

Got it. Got it. So yeah, just to go see a game at Fenway.


Stacey Brown Randall  3:37

Oh, yes. Oh, yes.


Andy Paul  3:38

And Yankee Stadium, I presume?


Stacey Brown Randall  3:40

Yes. We’ve actually done 11 of the 30 something stadiums are


Andy Paul  3:44

All of them. Yeah. Very interesting. Well, you have to come to San Diego. It’s a beautiful place to see a game.


Stacey Brown Randall  3:52

I’ve been twice.


Andy Paul  3:54

You’ve been down?


Stacey Brown Randall  3:55

Yeah, but I haven’t been to that stadium. No, our rule is we can’t go to a new stadium without each of us. So even though I was in San Diego, I ran by the stadium, or maybe I liked walking in the early run. Yeah, I saw it, but I didn’t actually get to see it again.


Andy Paul  4:10

All right, put on your list. Now they have Manny Machado. So more reasons to go with it. Yeah, well, good. Alright, so we’re going to talk about referrals today and start talking about things you’ve written about in your book called generating business referrals without asking, which is really the primary premise of the book, which is that you shouldn’t have to ask for referrals. So why is that?


Stacey Brown Randall  4:37

So, you know, when you think about how most things happen in sales, typically there’s a trigger, right? I mean, there’s just a trigger that happens that leads someone to be like, Oh, I have a problem trigger. Let me go figure out how I’m going to solve it. Right. Or they’re having a conversation with someone or watching a presentation or going through a training and there’s a trigger that they’re like, Oh, I need to actually do that. The same thing with triggers in And same with referrals when it comes to triggers, it’s just the trigger is typically how it’s been taught for generations. Right. And ultimately, at the end of the day, the trigger we want is for someone to be in a situation and the trigger to happen, which is, Hey, I have a problem. And then they say, Oh, I know Andy, a consultant for you. I know exactly. Solve it for you. That’s up to Andy. Right.


Andy Paul  5:18

And he has the answers.


Stacey Brown Randall  5:20

And he has the answers right to go. Don’t go to anybody else. And so we’re looking for that trigger to happen with referrals as well. But the reality though, is we don’t control the trigger. The trigger happens when somebody is having a conversation with someone else, or they know about something of someone else. And they’re like, Hey, I know somebody who can solve your problem. Right? You got to go talk to Andy and I go talk to Stacy. But we don’t like that in sales. Right? I mean, most people who are in sales are looking for the trigger so we can make things happen. That’s why people cold call, right? for someone to answer the phone and be half alive. And maybe we can get a trigger from them saying yes, I’ll take a meeting. So it’s why we have lots of different tactics out there when it comes to prospecting and marketing looking for different trends. Well, the same thing with referrals, except for we don’t control the trigger when it comes to referrals. So what do most people do when you don’t control something? You’re trying to figure out how to control it? Sure, and the way that we’ve been taught for decades now, I don’t, I don’t, I wouldn’t say generations and generations, but definitely decades and decades, that if you want a referral, you have to create your own trigger. And the trigger is typically, you have to ask the person for a referral, or you have to use some type of referral gimmick, like, put in your signature line, the best compliment you can give me as a referral or to write a book and then give it to people and ask them to pass it out to their clients, right. And that’s how they’re effectively recommending you. Or it’s a trigger of some type of like, incentivized referral program where I’m going to pay you every time you send me a referral, and I’m going to promote that. So we go looking for triggers. It’s the ask, it’s the commission program, or it’s the, you know, gimmicky part of the referrals. And we’ve been doing that for decades, but the reality is, most people don’t Like using those triggers because they feel manufactured, right? They feel false, because it’s true they are. And if you understand the human dynamic and the psychology behind why referrals happen, somebody else helping somebody solve a problem, you just happen to be the solution provider. It’s not about you. And when we ask, and when we use a gimmick, or when we try to pay you money for it, we’re making that referral about us. Now, I still believe that we have to have our own trigger to have referrals happen, I just approach the trigger mechanism from an entirely different perspective. And it means that you shouldn’t be asking, you shouldn’t be paying and you definitely should not be making your referral generation marketing or gimmicky. Right, why a referral actually happens which my process and my system looks at it from the perspective of it’s let’s figure out the psychology behind why referral happens and then try to create triggers from that perspective, which is why it’s you know, without asking and without paying people and without making it gimmicky.


Andy Paul  8:00

So, yeah, and I think in business to business sales, there’s not much going on in terms of paying people for referrals, but I’m sure it happens in some cases.


Stacey Brown Randall  8:14

Yeah, you could say an affiliate program is basically a paid referral program

except for those are disclosed upfront and that’s what makes them okay. Right. So an affiliate relationship you disclose it upfront, the same thing in the real estate market between realtors if one realtor hands another realtor, a client, there’s it’s signed paperwork that says this is what’s going to happen. Right, is going to be paid if it closes. So it’s the same thing with affiliates. It’s that’s all disclosed upfront. When most people talk about paying for referrals. They’re doing it behind the scenes, and that’s when it’s not the right trigger.


Andy Paul  8:43

Yeah, I agree. I mean, I’ve been in sales for 40 years. I’ve never heard anybody do that. But I’m sure perhaps it does. So. All right. Well, let’s talk about your process because I think that for some people to be some balance when people want these days they want to process the photo step by step right? Before things, but maybe could fill in some of the gaps here, so you have a five-step plan that you’re talking about. So let’s walk through that.


Stacey Brown Randall  9:08

Sure. So if we want to take my five steps and look at it first from a kind of like, Where do my five steps create the trigger? When you understand the human dynamic and the psychology behind referrals, it truly is somebody else helping somebody else. I just want to be top of mind in that referral source’s mind so that when that opportunity is there, they think of me. Right And so how we take care of our sources


Andy Paul  9:32

Well, which assumes that they know what you want to be referred for. Yeah, and what you can do for those people.


Stacey Brown Randall  9:39



Andy Paul  9:40

How do you ensure that they know that right? That’s sort of like you know, you talk about someone in your book in terms of staying connected and more than just an occasional check on the basis. But, I think this is sort of for me, so the nub of the matter before we start getting into the processes and the failure of most referral programs since they Don’t know what you want, what you’re looking for and what you can do?


Stacey Brown Randall  10:03

Well, yes, because we make the assumption incorrectly, right? That’s what assumptions are. But we make the assumption that anybody can refer to us , strangers can refer to us anyway. But when we think about who’s actually referring to us, or who should be referring to us, or who we want to be referring to, we recognize that we have to have a relationship with them, we have to build trust with them. And part of that is them understanding what I do and who I can help. And sometimes I can’t help. So when I talk to people about my five steps, there’s a, there’s a few, I would say, thoughts that I already have in place that I’m assuming you already have down, meaning that you’re really clear on what your client experience looks like. Right? And then you’re also really clear on the fact that you need to build relationships with your referral sources because strangers aren’t going to refer you sure and you don’t just get referrals from clients, right. You can also get referrals from, you know, centers of influence and people in your network that actually know Know what you do, but don’t do what you do and then come across your ideal client. So yes, it doesn’t mean every time you get a referral, it’s going to be the perfect referral. Right? I always tell the students in my growth by referrals program, I’m like, look in the beginning, we’re actually going to focus on quantity, because we want to build the habit and our referral sources to refer us. Right. And I don’t want a CPA, right receiving a referral to help someone buy a house. We’re not talking about completely out of the realm of what would be close to a client for you. But we want kind of that mechanism of them building the habit of referring us before we decide to have a conversation with them and focus on quality. Because quality is important. It just comes second. Once that habit was built with our referral sources. We ultimately want the quality there, but the conversation you have either with a referral source who is sending you referrals, but not an ideal fit or not the ones you can help. There is a conversation to be had with them. But it has to come after they’ve referred you a couple of times so that you can position it correctly. So they don’t take offense. And then I’ll start thinking, Oh, I have to qualify people before I send them to you. We don’t ever want them in that place.


Andy Paul  12:06

So you talk about serving two primary referral sources, you’ve got your centers of influence you talked about. So explain what that means.


Stacey Brown Randall  12:14

Yeah, so centers of influence are just basically there are people in your network. It’s a subset of people in your network who know what you do. Like, they’re very clear. Oh, yes. Okay. And he does this, right, Stacy does this, and they don’t do what you do. So there’s no competitive overlap. And then at the same time, they also come across your ideal client. So they’re more likely to actually be in their business setting, right? More than likely, this can happen in personal settings, as well as more likely to come across who you need as a client. And so from that perspective, they become your centers of influence so you can receive referrals from them. And then of course, you can receive referrals from your clients as well. I mean, of course, every once in a while you’ll get referrals from family or somebody who may know you who knows you knows you but you don’t know them. A lot. It’s way more rare, but usually it’s centers of influence. And as your clients are the two biggest groups are bulks and the referrals you’re going to receive, I think I come from right?


Andy Paul  13:08

So if you’re a salesperson. Two questions come to mind is, how many centers of influence? Is it logical that you could have? Or is there an optimal number on that anything?


Stacey Brown Randall  13:22

So it really depends on how many referrals you need in a year will dictate how many centers of influence you need being referral sources for you. Now, if you’re in sales, my guess is if you’re doing it, depending on this, I guess I should say, depending on the sales that you’re in, the reality of it is is you probably have a large network. Most people usually do, I would say business owners are in the same kind of boat, not always, but they have a large network, you may know thousands and thousands of people, right? You may have thousands of people who follow you or like you on Facebook or connected you on LinkedIn. Right? And then you may be very well known in certain circles. So there’s always that network, right and that’s very important to me. known in a network, but what we’re looking for is to kind of funnel down to the people who will actually be more likely to refer you because they’re going to come across the opportunity to refer you to how many centers of influence you need, as referral sources is really dictated by, well, how many referrals do you need? Are you the attorney, right? Who needs about 12 cases a year, and you’d like to be picky so you can pick the right cases? So getting 20 referrals in a year is more than you could possibly ever need and allows you to pick and choose what you want? Or are you in a more or a little bit more transactional kind of sales where you need more like 50 clients in a year or 100 clients in a year? Well, then that’s going to determine how many referral sources you need, because how well your referral sources refer you dictates how many of them you actually need. If you’ve got referral sources. Let’s just say you need 50 clients in a year, new clients now maybe you don’t need 50 clients in a year. And you’ve got 50 referral sources, but only 20 of them are actually really active.


Andy Paul  14:57

A minute quite frankly.


Stacey Brown Randall  14:58

Right. Well, first of all, Exactly, but 20 of them are probably active. Right? So they’re actually sending you someone at least once one person a year as a referral, maybe two a year? Well, I would say, well, we would just cut out that other 30 that we don’t need because they are not active, are looking for those active referral sources and then being intentional about growing more referral sources if we need them. Okay,


Andy Paul  15:19

So let’s that was the second part of the question then is how do you identify and grow a referral source’s center of influence.


Stacey Brown Randall  15:26

So it first comes down to making sure that that’s the type of person you want to have a relationship with, because at the end of the day, referral sources are only going to refer to you because of our relationship with you and the trust that they have in you. Which means you’re going to need to spend some time and I call this staying Top of Mind, not keeping in touch, but staying Top of Mind in a memorable and meaningful way, which is part of my five steps so that they don’t go nine months without hearing from you. And then when you hear from you. It’s something that’s impactful for them, so that they remember it longer, and you’re more Likely when the triggering event happens for them to know somebody who has a problem, right, they automatically think of you because you’re top of mind, you want to be top of mind when the trigger happens. And so it comes down to developing relationships with your referral sources,


Andy Paul  16:14

Right? I agree 100 percent. But so the question, I guess, would come to mind and say, okay, am I developing somebody as a referral source, and I’m using the center of influence term to distinguish from a client is somebody that potentially I just don’t know, at all. And I just think, okay, based on the criteria I’m looking for, in terms of the various overlaps that you’d mentioned before, this is just someone proactively going to go out and prospect, basically prospect in order to develop them into a center of influence.


Stacey Brown Randall  16:46

And that’s the harder way to do it. I mean, it definitely happens.


Andy Paul  16:48

But that’s what I just wanna make sure for the people listening is that, you know, is that are they new, or are these people that you already know that you’re then developing as a center of influence,


Stacey Brown Randall  16:58

So they don’t typically you don’t typically start walking To someone to be like, you should be a referral source, right? No,


Andy Paul  17:02

But if they identify them as somebody that is appropriate.


Stacey Brown Randall  17:05

Right? So that’s the first step is actually identifying who are the people who have the potential to be referral sources for you. And then the second your network, right? And then the second step is figuring out, okay, I need to start developing a relationship with them. So what does that look like? And this is the part that takes time. And it’s the part that most people lack patience for, but people don’t just start referring to you all of a sudden, right? So I gave a masterclass I took people through about how to turn clients into referral sources, and then how to turn centers of influence and your referral sources. And it’s actually a process I teach, where we’re looking at it almost on a monthly basis like, identifying who you want to be referring to. Right now you’re having you’re doing you’re connecting with them to see if you guys can actually meet face to face if that’s possible. If they’re local, if not, maybe on a Skype call, right doing a virtual coffee and you’re literally just seeing how you can help them and it doesn’t actually matter if anything comes out of it for you. You’re building a relationship with them. So it’s not a given mentality that takes care of them, seeing how you can help them, and really understanding their business and then looking for opportunities to do that. But then you also have in the, in my master class, I call it like the running five and keeping warm. And it’s effectively the idea of Okay, so who are the people right now in this month that we’re trying to develop a new referral source? That’s right. That’s our running numbers. It’s not five for everybody, right? Sure. But then we have to once we’ve actually had a relationship with them and established a relationship with them, that first initial contact, then it’s the idea of after that, how we’re going to keep them warm, until they give us the first referral. And then we can actually move them into a referral source. And then there’s a whole other process for how we take care of them to cultivate referrals there. But what I teach people in that master class or increasing referral sources is this idea that, you know, if there’s someone you want to meet that you don’t know, it’s a lot easier to go looking for somebody who will make an introduction for you, obviously, sometimes it’s figuring out oh, you know, what they serve on the board this organization, I’ll go attend a couple meetings and see if I can introduce myself, right? So there’s different ways for you to get in front of that person to hopefully cultivate them to a place where they’ll say, hey, let’s grab coffee and catch up. Most of the time, people actually don’t identify exactly who they want as a referral source. They don’t sit down and be like, I need that attorney at that law firm, or I need that person and that sales company to be my referrals, or sometimes they can, but a lot of times it’s knowing what your ideal center of influence has, like what do they have in common with other referral sources of yours. And then trying to identify those when you are at networking events or when you are looking at the directory of an organization that you are a member of, or when you are, you know, paying attention to who your close friends in the business world know, from that perspective, who are the well connected people that they know. So this part takes time. And most people are impatient, and so it’s the part they try to skip over? Sure, which is why most people look at turning clients in the referral sources because for most it seems easier though not everybody actually can receive referrals from clients. Some people have to just focus on centers of influence. But it effectively comes down to like old school business building, which is getting to know people, how you can help them, right? Because what happens right at the end of the day when we help somebody, you know, usually when we help somebody, I mean, some people are dead inside. But for those that aren’t, they do look for a way to help somebody back even on a one to one exact way. But it could be as easy as just making an introduction for them or inviting them to go along to a networking event with you, or sending them an article that you read about, but you’re keeping them warm, right? We’re helping them taking care of them. And then when they send you that first referral, or they ask sometimes I’ll even ask and be like, hey, thanks so much for all the help You’re giving me Who can I keep my eyes open for you? Right? Right, man, those mechanisms and those times, right, definitely you can have those conversations.


Andy Paul  20:44

Well, isn’t there a time that comes so when you’ve to ask somebody? Yeah. Would you be open to being a referral source if you’ve built this relationship if you’ve given them this? Yeah, I think what deals are people are listening to shows and saying, Oh, yeah, I got it. I’m a salesperson, I gotta go for the clothes at some point,


Stacey Brown Randall  21:02

Right? Because we want to make action happen, right? But actually, my answer to that would be no. Don’t ever ask anyone to become a referral source. You don’t ever ask anyone to send you referrals. It’s one thing to ask somebody. Even clients, we don’t ask clients to be referral sources, and we don’t ask for referrals from them. Same with our centers of influence. Now, let me give you the caveat there, there’s one there is that opportunity where you know somebody really well, and you know, they know somebody else that you would really like to meet. And so you can ask them for an introduction, but you still do not ask them for a referral to that person. and nine times out of 10 that works when you’re asking to meet that person because you want them to be a COI? Not necessarily because you want them to be a client, people are much more willing to be like, sure, we’re going to say networking events want to just go with us. Right, and I’ll introduce you there, right, but it’s still never an ask for a referral. So most people are like, Great, so I’m gonna get to know these people. I’m going to meet them, I’m going to take care of them. I’m going to, you know, make sure that they know that I’m trying to find ways to help them and be a resource for them. Okay, then where’s the referral happening? Same? Same question you asked like, when’s the referral piece happened? Do I have to ask to go to the close? I would say no. But you do have to figure out how to weave in referral seeds. And you have to know how to plant referral seeds.


Andy Paul  22:17

So when it’s a referral?


Stacey Brown Randall  22:19

So referral seeds allow people to think about you in a referral perspective, right. So the easiest example that I can give you now there are so many opportunities to plant our seeds. And the program grows by referrals. There’s like dozens and dozens of scripts we talk about and opportunities to do this. But the easiest one that anybody listening today can go and take this and be like, I’m gonna go try that and see what happens, right? The easiest one to be able to plant for a referral seed is, you know, when you’re at a networking event, and you’re having a conversation with someone, the typical question that is always asked at the very beginning is, oh, yeah, How’s business? So if I were to meet you for the first time and event or maybe I know you a little bit better, and I asked you, so how’s business? What is your typical response? You would say? This is always great. Always great, right? No, there’s really nothing wrong with your response. It’s just missing an opportunity to make an impression. Right? And I don’t want you to have those gimmicky. Like, kinda like, Oh, you know, I’m so


Andy Paul  23:19

Posing the question to the person seeking the who, who was I met?


Stacey Brown Randall  23:23

Yeah. So it’s like, it’s, it’s right. Well, depending on who’s asking you, how’s business may determine how the answer that you give back? Yes. Right. It may be the person you don’t want to talk to, you know, like, it’s awesome. Gotta go by. Right. But if it’s if you’re having a conversation with somebody, and they say so how’s business, Andy, instead of saying it’s always great. You can still say that you can say it’s always great. Last week, I just brought on two new clients. And they were both referred to me. Right? So if we were having this conversation and networking event, and you came up to me, right in this moment, and you’re like, hey, Stacy, How’s business? I would say, Oh my gosh, it’s awesome. I just have just wrapped up working with four brand new VIP referral students of mine and have our photo clients of mine going through my VIP process. It’s really awesome. Two of them were referred to me. And one heard me on a podcast and one heard me speak at an event. Hmm. Right. So it’s that idea to talk about, you know, but the best ones right are, of course, always the ones that are referred to us. That’s why I started with that. So it’s that idea of planting the seed of where your clients are coming from. They’re coming from referral. Right. So it’s not saying I work by referral, like we’re not trying to be gimmicky. We’re just stating, we’re answering a question with a better way and a better statement that feels way more normal and natural for most people. And we’re just saying, oh, gosh, Thanks, Andy, for asking how businesses, it’s great. I just boarded a couple of new clients, and the majority of them came through referrals from other clients of mine. That’s just it just makes going a business so much easier. Don’t you agree?


Stacey Brown Randall  24:58

So it is so and it’s actually Part Four or Step four, the entire five step process is your ability to know how to plant the seeds into how to plan and use that language. And it’s not always just the use of the word referral, though that’s the easiest to plant. And I always tell folks, when people take my referral ninja quiz, which is just a free nine question quiz I have, where people can figure out how good are you actually at generating referrals? Like what’s your skill? What’s your ability, what’s your level, they take this referral ninja quiz, and it tells them that they’re one of three levels, your referral ninja beginner, your referral ninja and training or your referral ninja master. And 85% of the people over the thousands who’ve taken the quiz are going to land at the beginner level. Another it’s like 84-85%, another, you know, 13-14% are going to land at the end of training and only 2% make it to the master level. And I always tell folks, when they’re in my program, they’re trying to go from beginner to entrain into master. What keeps them from Master is actually mastering the language peace and understanding how we use this in a normal conversation where it feels real Right. But it’s also our ability to remember to do it. And to be able to master the language, you got to master some other pieces too. But that is typically why it’s its own standalone module in my program, it’s like, you got to get the language piece, you’ve got to understand how we plant referral seeds and what that language piece looks like. And it’s not like you’re doing it every day and every single time I talk to you, I’d be like the same answer, but it is understanding and weaving in that basic language.


Andy Paul  26:24

Okay, so those are step one and step four, which are covered there.


Stacey Brown Randall  26:34

Right, so Okay, the first let me just back up for a quick second step one, because we kind of glossed over it just a little bit. It’s actually knowing who your referral sources are. So if you need referral sources, that’s that’s a pre-step, right? Like that’s a step zero. If you need referral sources. That’s what we talked about turning centers of influence from clients into your referral sources. Once you know who your referral sources are, and if you’ve been in business more than two years and you do good work, you probably Have some, you’ll probably be surprised at who they are because you think you know, but unless you look at the data you don’t really know. And a financial adviser I was doing a VIP session with and he was like, I’ve got 30 referral sources, right. And when I was done with him, he had six, because sometimes we think things are referral sources. Right, that part. So step one is knowing who your referral sources are. Step two is making sure it’s just a simple part of the process. Most people say it’s out of order here, like what is this doing here? It’s number two, because I don’t ever want anyone to overlook it, which is, you have to know how to properly thank someone who sends you a referral, which means effectively, you need to be able to send a handwritten thank you note for someone who sends you a referral. Now in that thank you note, I want you to use referral seed, right. And I want you to plant some referrals, same language, but I want you to make sure you can write a thank you note, because what we normally do in sales and in business as we go for the easy button, we’re going to send the text or the email or do the quick phone calling pray goes to voicemail, right so we can just get through the Thank you. But what we’re missing is opportunity to really make an impact on our world by reminding them how valuable they are to us, and why should I give you more referrals if you cannot thank me for the one I just sent you. And thank me in the proper way. So step two is that having that immediate follow up process. Once you have that in place, you can easily move into step three and step three as this


Andy Paul  28:20

Will stop and step two for a second. So there’s a lot of things going on these days in terms of digital gifting, or you know, so as a thank you note and a Yeah, a mug or a gift box or just think handwritten thank you note enough.


Stacey Brown Randall  28:35

So a handwritten thank you note is enough. If someone is sending you multiple referrals in a year, and every time you sit down to write them a thank you note, you want to also send them something else that’s fine. It’s called a reward. So they’re getting it as a surprise on the back end as a thank you never as an incentive to you. The other thing is like you I’m just because you use the example of a mug. It better not be a mug with your logo on it because a mug with your logo. It is about you and that is not a gift to somebody else unless you’re unless you own Yeti. And people will happily take anything Yeti from you from their tumblers.


Andy Paul  29:07

I got a very nice one from somebody last week. We’ll take the Yeti. I’m loving my Yeti. Yeah,


Stacey Brown Randall  29:12

Yeah. But the truth is your logo better not be on the Yeti. Right now there’s a place for promotional items. Absolutely. But that place is not in our referral. Thank you. And it’s not anything in life within our referral plan.


Andy Paul  29:25

Okay. All right. So step three, you’re heading on to them.


Stacey Brown Randall  29:28

Yep. So great building


Andy Paul  29:30

Versus building your long term plan.


Stacey Brown Randall  29:33

Yeah. So you know, your referral sources are, that’s great. You know how to thank them every time they send you a referral. But what do you do so that there is a triggering event that you’re kind of controlling right, in between receiving referrals and that is how we stay memorable and meaningful and Top of Mind with our referral sources. And we’re kind of creating like this outreach plan that we want to do for our referral sources where they feel like we’re taking care of them because we are and ultimately what they feel as a result of experience, but they don’t know. That’s what it is. It goes back to that Maya Angelou quote, I’ve learned that people won’t remember what you say or what you do, but they will remember how you make them feel. So we’re trying to impact the emotional side of our referral sources by making sure they feel like we care. They know we don’t underestimate or undervalue what they do for us, which is to make our lives easier, because they as a client, nine times out of 10, are ready to go, right. So we’re taking care of them. We’re acknowledging them. We’re trying to be helpful for them. And but let’s be honest, if you’re in sales, or you’re a business owner, if something isn’t actually said, you’re going to do it, or on your calendar on your task list, the odds of it happening are like slim to none. Right? Because we are just so fast, things don’t happen. So it has to be a plan. Right? I mean, I think that the beauty of a referral generating plan is that it is an actual plan, right? And then there’s the ability, right to actually make sure you’re going to implement on that plan, but I’ll talk about implementation, we get to Step five, because Step three is all about you’ve got to have a way to make sure your referral sources says, never forget you, they cannot go six to nine months from out feeling from feeling like they haven’t talked to you or connected with you. But I’m not talking about your newsletter. And I’m not talking about a text message every 32 days, it says, Hey, how’s it going? And we all know what you’re doing when you do that, right? I’m not looking for you to send me an email that says, hey, I saw this article, and I can tell it’s a blast email you’re sending out to 35 people, right? So like, it’s we have to be intentional about what this says. And we have to be authentic, and it’s memorable and meaningful that is most important in that regard. But what makes Step three, which is in my growth by referrals program, I called the meat and potatoes of the whole thing, right? It’s the only module in the course that has two videos to make sure we understand it all and we get it all down. But the only thing that makes it work is step four, which is the language piece which is what we just talked about planting those referral seeds. So if Step three is the meat potatoes, step four is the secret sauce. The language makes the meat potatoes taste good. And so we have to use the right language so that we are developing into the subconsciousness of our reality. Sources us and referrals. Think Stacy think referrals, thinking anything before the visit, they don’t walk around thinking that, but they feel taken care of in a memorable and meaningful way with the right language. And because we’re Top of Mind, those opportunities happen more and more, then we want to just wrap all that up with a pretty little bow. And Step five, which just says, Look, it’s an experience for your referral sources when you’re taking care of them, right and then ongoing way and I don’t mean every week or every month, but when you’re taking care of them and a memorable and meaningful way, leaving in the right language and you know who they are, and you’re sending your thank you notes when they do send you a referral, right? They’re getting experience as a sales professional or as a business owner. we’re so busy, we need a process. And so Step five is just being able to take it and systematize it and automate and delegate what we can. So that the plan, the touchpoints, the outreach actually happens for our referral sources.


Andy Paul  32:54

So examples of automating it.


Stacey Brown Randall  32:58

So it kind of depends on what is in your Plan, right? In some cases, I tell folks, it’s not always going to be automation, it may be more delegation. Right? So it may be, let’s just say for sake of argument, you decided you wanted to throw an event for your clients. And as part of your referral generating plan, you wanted to include your referral sources in that? Well, there’s a lot in that, that we can then delegate, right that we may not end up having to do. It is also within your processes, right? There are things that you can do to automate like so I have it almost automated in my business for when I receive a referral. And I forwarded on to my virtual assistant, right. And there’s a process she goes through making sure we’re logging it correctly. So we’re tracking everything. Like there’s an automatic back to me that says write the thank you note, but I still got to write. Thank you. Sure. Sure. Right. So not everything can be automated or delegated. But really what I’m after is systematizing. It’s the ability to say these are the things I want to do. Now I want to make sure it gets into a format either in my calendar or my task list or whatever, so that it actually happens. And most of those pieces, I tell folks, you’re gonna probably be more involved in this than most of the other things that you’re doing from a sales perspective only because it’s your relationship with the referral source. So you have to do pieces of it. But that automation or that system ization, I call it process a rising It sure. I don’t actually know if that’s a real word, but that’s my own. So we just try to process it . It’s really about getting into our workflows, so that if we wanted to do something to recognize St. Patrick’s Day, for our referral sources, we’re not thinking about it on Memorial Day, because St. Patrick’s day has come and gone. And so that’s just one simple example. But it’s that idea behind understanding we gotta make it a process so that you actually execute on it.


Andy Paul  34:45

So, just saw someone start a time here. So just one thought you’d get people to okay, because it’s really important for people to get started on and it’s one of the things that is probably the most sentimental and most simple but it In some respects, ultimately is the most logical step to take. And yet some people, to your point about being uncomfortable with this, would rather go out and make cold calls, which you, in many cases may have to do both. I think that’s sort of what the question is, you know, take a salesperson who does have cold calling responsibilities. But they’d be crazy if they didn’t try to integrate referrals into the mix, right with everything else as a lead source for them. So for a busy salesperson that, you know, working on a patch, whether it’s an account list or a territory, physical territory, geographic territory, how do they integrate this into their daily routine?


Stacey Brown Randall  35:35

That’s such a good question. And you’re right, most people aren’t going to just have a business that’s fully supported or hit their quotas or their metrics every month or every quarter based on referrals. It’s just not going to work. That way. It does happen for some did typically takes a lot longer than we’d like to think it’s not gonna happen in a year or two. So I tell folks you probably need it’s important to understand the activities that you do do that are actually producing results for you. You can cold call all day long. Well, have we all been there at some point in our careers? I certainly have. Right. And near the end of the day, I hated it. But I was actually pretty okay on the phone with people so I could get appointments from that. But at the end of the day, I couldn’t make myself do it every day. Because it was like, this is the most awful thing ever, but I had to do it, but it’s mixing it. It’s just my personal opinion. I know some people love the cold call some people do. I just respect the people who love it. I’ve had clients who love it, and I’m like, Wow, you are like a special breed of person, like really super special. And the rest of us are just not. And so you know, when you look at it, yes, you may do different metrics. And you may do different activities, right, that are actually going to produce results for you. I just want referrals and your referral generating plan to be one of them. And then my goal is to grow it to be the biggest, obviously, my business has supported a majority of it’s by referrals, but it is also by people who hear me on podcasts, write or speak on stage or pick up and read my book. And so yes, I do get clients and other ways, but I actually have a plan in place for all of Those ways of how I’m making sure that my books getting promoted that I’m being on the right type of podcast, and I’m booking enough speaking engagements, and that I’m following my referral generating plan to produce referrals for me as well. It’s knowing which activities working and then working those, I just want referrals to be in the mix for everybody. It may start small, that’s okay. We can get it to grow bigger, if you will just be consistent with execution.


Andy Paul  37:23

Yeah, I agree. 100%. That, to me, is that the smart salesperson has a mix of lead generation activities. And yeah, I wasn’t completely reliant on one versus the other. And referrals is certainly one that if you’ve been in a territory, as you said, for any period of time, let’s say a year or two, it’s gonna be hard if you’re a brand new salesperson, you have to get referrals. But if you have a little bit of a book of business that you’ve developed, then yeah, this should be an integral part of your plan and follow the process Stacy just talked about so we got to jump off, but so tell people how to get in touch with you.


Stacey Brown Randall  37:56

Yep. So my home base is stacybrownrandall.com. So if you Yes, yeah, it’ll probably reach out to me if you spell it wrong but stacybrownrandall.com I mentioned the referral ninja quiz.


Andy Paul  38:09

Question quiz


Stacey Brown Randall  38:10

Yeah, the nine questions. It’s a free quiz you can take, just go to StacyBrownRandall.com/quiz. It’s just a great place to get started to figure out what level you are. And then more resources will be sent to you based on your level to help you understand how we get better? Or how do we get more referrals? So I would say those are the probably the the two best places to start just my home base.


Andy Paul  38:32

Yeah, don’t forget Stacy has any. All right. Thank you. Thank you very much.


Stacey Brown Randall  38:35

Thanks, Andy.