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Want Appointments? The Core of the Referral Process Is a Story That Is Shared

There isn't a week that goes by when I am asked how to get more referrals by a sales person or business owner. Often, that person has recieved referrals in the past, but, has come to a realization that they could be doing far better than they are.

There are many reasons why sales professionals and companies (churches and non-profits as well) don't get more referrals. When you move beyond the basics of providing good service and product...you get to the elements of a referral based sales approach that actually moves the needle.

Remember: Everyone expects to get decent service and a quality product...if they don't they certainly won't refer you to someone else.

I have heard of Story Branding for some time, but, to my eternal shame I hadn't truly investigated it until recently (that was a significant error that I am hoping to help you avoid through this article). The book that impacted me and sparked this writing is:

Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

If you haven't read this I recommend buying the Kindle version (so you can use your Evernote App) and the Audible version. This is too valuable to only have impact your brain in one dimension. Read it, apply to your business and then (most importantly) apply it to your customers.

At the core of StoryBranding is that it's about your customers story. Referrals are all about your customers and the folks that refer you (otherwise you are a Referral Predator and need to read this: Referral Predator Reset).

Think about it...at the core of the referral process is a story that is either shared or not.

Stories that are valuable and easily shared are the ones that build massive success in referral based sales. In addition, storybranding works amazing for just about any other form of prospecting you can come up with to include cold calling.

Remember playing 'telephone' when you were in grade school? I might be dating myself here, but, the basic premise is that you started on one end of a row of kids with a short story and then saw how much it changed by the time it had passed through the rest of the kids. Hilarious...and convicting if you want more referral success.

Related: Robo Advising and The Death of the AUM Business Model for Independent Financial Advisors

Questions for you:

  • What is your story?
  • Is it worth sharing with other people and would they feel the same?
  • How do I need to adapt my story so that it creates powerful introductions?
  • To Do's:

  • Get the book and devour it
  • StoryBrand yourself (Miller's organization has a treasure trove of resources at: Storybrand
  • Apply to your customers and how you interact with them to ensure that its all about them!
  • Consider buying multiple copies to give out to any clients that sell stuff (you will be very happy to have them read this if you are applying it in your career/company)

  • No matter what happens with technology ...great stories will always work for sales professionals that learn and have the discipline/focus to make sure their customers are the focus of the story.

    If this was of value I ask that you share it with any and all business professionals that you feel could benefit from it. I am always open to a conversation about referrals, culture, and the quest for innovation within the independent financial advisor space, or, other players in the SMB space.