Why is ‘NEED’ . . .
Not Useful When Asking for Referrals?
Well, of course if someone is being referred TO you, there’s an implied assumption they ‘need’ your service. And that’s a good thing to find in someone who’s being referred to you, right?
But what about the times when, if you’re feeling especially brave, you decide to ASK someone for a referral or introduction to a ‘person of interest’? How critical is it that someone ’needs’ the beneficial difference you can create in their life . . . today?
I’ll argue, it’s not as helpful or essential as you might think! Here’s two (2) reasons why . . . (and I’ll cover 2 more reasons in my next post)
Reason #1: A prospect for you isn’t obvious to most people
If you’re asking someone a variation on the “Who do you know who . . .” question there’s a very good chance they won’t know who they know who may be interested in your services. Why? People with the kind of problems you solve probably aren’t telling the world they need or want the beneficial difference you can offer them.
Think of a business coach. You ask someone: “How’s business?” “GREAT!” is the typical reply.
Now it may or may not be “Great!”. But their answer is pretty standard and, therefore, meaningless. “Great!” — Seriously? It couldn’t be ANY better?
The problem is, someone you’re asking may never even ask someone they know, “How’s business?” And, even if they did, they’d likely hear, “Great!” and then they may not have the skills or the interest to probe past the initial comment.
Reason #2: Your prospects’ needs and wants will grow and wane over time
Even someone who will buy your kind of services, may not need or want the benefits of your services . . . right now . . . today
— People buy groceries . . . once a week
— People see a dentist . . . twice a year,
— People see their CPA . . . annually or quarterly
— People buy or lease a new car . . . every 3 – 5 years
— People buy or sell their home . . . every 5 – 7 years
— People create / revise their Will . . . maybe a few times in their entire lifetime
So some people may be ‘interested’ in what you do, today. Yet many others are ‘not in the market’’ to buy what you do . . . at the moment.
But they ARE likely to be in the market for what you do . . . at some unknown point (or, points!) in time in the future.
Next time, I’ll cover 2 related reasons why asking for referrals is highly problematic and how to address this whole issue confidently and competently.
Asking someone for a referral to someone they know who has a current need or desire for the benefits you offer . . . may be raising the bar higher than is helpful for you to get more referrals and grow your revenues as you’d like.