Dispelling The Referral Myth Podcast #12

Read Time:5 Minute, 6 Second

Cys Bronner, BNI Executive Director and CRO (Chief Referral Officer), discusses one of the most common myths heard in BNI and other networking circles. What’s the real scoop?


Dispelling the Referral Myth

Hi, I’m Cys Bronner, Executive Director of BNI4Success in the Greater Los Angeles area and this week I want to talk about one of the most common myths I hear in BNI and other networking circles.

People do business with people they know, like and trust.

Is this a Truth or Delusion?

IF people really do business with people they know, like and trust. Then wouldn’t you be doing business hand over fist? Your friends like you, don’t they? Your Mom, your golf buddy, your cousins?

I’m going to say that is almost true –

“People do business with those who provide the most value who they also know, like and trust.

And they do it because others tell them so. 

Mark Zuckerberg said it best when he said:

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral is the holy grail of advertising”

and to further point that out, I want to tell you that when asked where their business really comes from a whopping 85 percent of business owners said word-of-mouth referrals!

28% of millennials …. Before you shake your head at the idea of Millennials, I want you to know that Millennials were born between 1981 – 1996 they are currently 25 to 40!

Think about that age spread for a minute – these are the people who are on their career path, starting families, buying homes, are buying non-entry levels cars and insurance, getting divorces, selling their homes, buying separate homes, and maybe starting new families.

And there are roughly 72.1 MILLION in the US

28% of Millennials say they won’t try a product if their friends don’t approve of it or share it with them. Having a referral partner or referral hub as I prefer makes sharing to friends and family easy.

So how do we get to them?

Look around – if you don’t see any sales people, you’re the sales person (Peter Thiel)

Everyone agrees: referrals are the most effective, and cost-effective, way to generate new business, yet asking for referrals can feel awkward. You really could use some more clients but you don’t want to come across as desperate or pushy.

Which means you need a referral partner, or better yet, a referral hub.

How referrals help your business?

Referral marketing reduces your sales expenses and sales cycle. With less time cold calling prospects, your small business can focus on customers and their circle of influence. Referrals can build your level of satisfied customers. … Referrals increase your sales revenue.

Why are referrals important in business?

When someone buys goods or services from your company based on a customer referral, then they’re more likely to tell others in the industry if they had a positive experience. If each one tells five more, and then those tell others, then you see exponential sales growth.

It should be no surprise that Online businesses get 60% of their sales thanks to referrals from advocates and brand super fans.

Imagine what you could do with a group of other professionals advocating one and other!

And if you don’t have that?

I had the opportunity to attend a Brian Buffini event some time ago (I would say, that Brian Buffini is probably the closest thing to BNI’s Founder, Dr. Ivan Misner that the Real Estate industry has) and the way he tells his story is a I remember it, is that he left his home country of Ireland and traveled to the US to “make it”. Originally, he starts out selling T Shirts on the boardwalk.

He comes from a family of housepainters so he figures he’ll start his own house painting business.
There is a family get together where his Brother tells the story about his big real estate sale in Newport Beach and how he called “this guy” in to paint, which made it shine like he knew it would. 
Brian was just a little bit amazed because he was able to paint that house and his brother (who knows likes, and I hope trusts Brian) didn’t even ask him.

So of course, he asked why? His brother says “well, gee Brian, you’re always saying how busy you are so I didn’t want to bother you.”

Brian says “If you threw me a big whale like that one, I wouldn’t be so busy chasing after all these little minnows!”

That’s when he decided that his message (and what he taught others) should be “Oh by the way, I’m never too busy for your referrals”

Is it rude to ask for a referral?

Asking for a referral may seem intimidating, but it’s often an effective way to head to the top of the candidate list, so it’s worth the request — as long as you handle it delicately. 

What’s the best way to ask for the referral? Teach others about what you do and have them ask for you – BNI Chapters are a group of professionals who create a community through being referral resources. They ask for you

Information from friends is trusted more

A study by Nielsen revealed that approximately 92% of consumers from various markets are more inclined to believe people who are in their circles.

In the end it’s all about Results!

Thank you for listening today.

I look forward to seeing your comments and learning more about referral myths at BNIPodcast4Success.com 

In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results.

Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com
Her motto: BNI, Making word of mouth marketing work for youClick for more information or to join a BNI chapter in the Los Angeles area

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