I’m a Good Person, So Where Are My Referrals?


One of the things in life that we are pretty sure of is, “To know me is to love me.”  Most people who get to know you end up liking you.  So being the lovable person that you are, why aren’t you getting more referrals?  Well, one of the reasons could be that you have the wrong expectations.

When we think of referrals we know we want them, and maybe even how many we want.  But where will we get them?  We belong to referral groups.  We have clients who can refer us.  We network.  We have friends and colleagues.  But identifying these sources isn’t enough.  They must know how to refer us.  And that is our responsibility.

Knowing how to refer us has a couple of aspects: who is a good referral and what is the process for making the referral?  Our trouble starts with our expectation that everyone can and will refer us to good prospects.

It is not reasonable to assume that everyone will be able to refer business to us.  There are many reasons why this might be so.

  • They may not know we are looking for referrals.
  • They may not have contact with our target market.
  • They may not be inclined to make referrals.
  • They may not know enough about us.
  • They may not know enough about our product or service.
  • They don’t know what to say.

If you are expecting referrals from someone, some of the first questions to be asked are, “Does this person have contact with my Target Market?” and “Do they engage with my Target Market in a way that enables them to recommend me?”  There are many people we like and who like us.  And many people ask us to tell them how they can help us.  But many of these people are able to refer us only occasionally and randomly.

Are your expectations for referrals in alignment with your relationships and with the ability and desire of the people in your network to refer you?

2 thoughts on “I’m a Good Person, So Where Are My Referrals?

  1. Tom Doiron

    The Esteemed Emile,
    My most favorite referral is from a raving fan and user of my product/service. Perhaps best known as a satisfied customer. Therefore I intermintenly let them know that I like their referrals and show my appreciation. Eveything else is a distant second of further back.

  2. Emile Paradis Post author

    Of the eight sources of referrals, client/customer referrals may be the most staisfying. In addition to the opportunity for new business, client referrals also provide that positive feedback that is so motivating to most of us. Reminding your clients that referrals are a good thing and well appreciated is essential to making this a regular occurance rather than just a happy surprise.

    By the way, I hope you got excited at the prospect of seven other sources of referrals.

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