In consulting clients while working on our Referral Program, I often stumble upon clients who want guaranteed referrals. Is there such a thing?
Just as there may be guaranteed perks after you take a certain step in a relationship, (as in marriage), you may get guaranteed referrals from a physician or referral source where you have built up a stable or solid relationship.
Now let’s take this comparison further. Let’s suppose that you expect a home cooked meal “guaranteed” from your better half when you arrive home from work. Now, if you are nice, answer your phone, return their calls, bring home flowers or chocolates once in a while, and display really good manners, chances are, you will find that home cooked meal every night as expected.
But, what if you forget to bring flowers, keep your phone shut off for most of the day, and have displayed memory lapses on your better half’s name a couple of times? Chances are, those home cooked meals awaiting your arrival will be sporadic; some days yes, some days no. You get my drift here? In a relationship, the “guaranteed” part of it depends a lot on what YOU do or don’t do!
Here’s a client example; I had a client that during his training and going over the fundamental principles of building relationships would keep interrupting me and want to cut to the chase and insist on using “I want referrals from you. Good bye!” You guessed right… I had my work cut out for me in debunking this obviously ineffective way to go about it. The keynote of referral relationships is that they are RELATIONSHIPS. You don’t want to do anything you would not do to a friend, a spouse, a mother-in-law, etc. because you would lose them!