Unpacking the Top Referral Myths

In the last article I discussed why referrals are so misunderstood.

We understand WHY we want referrals but we are fuzzy on WHAT is an actual referral and completely confused on HOW to generate them.

Because we are confused on what a referral is and how to generate them (without asking, of course) – that drives a number of referral myths.

[Read about the WHAT and the HOW here.]

By definition a myth is not real…but since it is so widely held, it feels really, really real.

Here are the top five referrals myths that I hear when I ask, “What is the one thing that holds you back from consistently generating referrals?” The answers – hundreds and hundreds of them – all fall within the same 5 referral myths.

The good news…thank goodness these top referral myths are not real.

Let’s look at each of them and then over the next few articles I’ll dive in deeper to each of them.

The Top 5 Referral Myths

  1. To receive I must ask and that makes me uncomfortable (Fear of asking)
  2. To receive I have to network and know a ton of people (Fear of getting out of your comfort zone)
  3. It takes so much time, time I don’t have (Belief in the amount of work needed)
  4. I have to pay for them
  5. Receiving referrals cannot be controlled

The “fear factor” is driven by the belief that I have to ask for referrals which make myself and those I’m asking uncomfortable through the process of being asked.  Plus, I have to be “out there” getting to know lots and lots and lots people through lots and lots and lots of networking. Which even the most outgoing, extroverted and social person would dread over time.

Which then leads me to believe that generating referrals takes a ton of time, time none of us probably have.  All that time networking, all that time preparing to ask, all those meeting in which I have to ask…all. that. time.

And if you toss in that you might have to pay for them and cannot control any part of receiving referrals…then it only makes sense that you would decide receiving referrals is just not a business development strategy that you should pay much attention to.  The attitude becomes “why bother?”

But referrals have an allure…as they should.  Even though people believe one or all of these top myths they still are interested in how to generate them.

Because we all know, ultimately, referrals is the best way to receive new clients.

So naturally we want them, even if we believe we cannot have them.

Well, let’s change all that, shall we? 

Yes, I think we should. (And if you answered no, then stop reading.) 😉

But to change these myths we have to dissect where they come from, unpack the evidence and then provide a successful, proven alternative.

Check out just a handful of the titles of articles published in reputable magazines and on online sites…

25 Way to Ask for a Referral Without Looking Desperate
3 Steps to Asking for Referrals Today
Get More Referrals By Asking
7 Financial Advisor Prospecting Tips to Rake in Leads (#4 was “Ask for Referrals”)

It is really hard to get away from the advice that to generate referrals we have to ask.  And to review the books available on how to generate referrals – most teach you how to network – a lot – to generate referrals, or the scripts and times of when to ask.

Is it so shocking to understand where our myths come from…the belief of what it takes to generate referrals?  Our myths are driven by what messages we have been exposed to over and over again, that then in turn become the beliefs we believe and drive our actions or inactions.

It is time we get our facts straight.

In the upcoming articles in this series, I will dive deeper into the myths that to receive referrals your need to ask, focus your energy on networking to know a ton of people, dedicated a massive amount of time to have success, pay for referrals and the kicker – receiving referral cannot be controlled (unless you ask, of course).

All of these myths are false and I’ll prove it the upcoming articles. It is time we get our facts straight when it comes to generating referrals.

As we work through these different myths, I encourage you to join me in the free Referrals Without Asking Facebook group for our March It Forward to Referral Success. For the month of March, we will focus on learning and executing on what we need to know to generate referrals!  Check in with the group a few times a week to learn something new, try something new and find a great supportive community of business professionals who are dedicated to generating referrals without asking.

I’ll also be live on Thursday, March 1 at noon EST / 9 am PST to talk all about March It Forward and these 5 referral myths. Join me on the Stacey Brown Randall live show at www.facebook.com/StaceyBrownRandall.

It is going to be a great “March!”

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