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How to Get “Referred Up” (to More Ideal Clients)

by Bill Cates
How to Get Referred Up | Bill Cates

By default, clients tend to refer laterally (and down) on the economic ladder … but not up. So, how do we change this tendency?

Educate Your Clients

The first thing you want to do is to educate all of your “A” and “B+” clients as to the people you serve the best – people much like them. Let them know that you consider them an ideal client. Let them know that your processes are geared toward serving people like them.

Tell them that you appreciate the opportunity to serve them because they truly see your value.

Anybody that you want to introduce you to someone else – clients and centers of influence – should be educated as to who you serve the best.

Qualify Your Prospects for the Right Match

When someone gets referred, or introduced, to you, be sure to qualify them as quickly as you can – to make sure the fit is right.

You don’t want to take on clients who aren’t the right match for you – because that’s not the right thing to do for the client, or for your business. Taking on clients who are not the right fit for you creates lose-lose situations.

The best thing to do is qualify these people over the phone. Let them know that you may or may not be the right person for them – that you want to get sense of fit before you both invest the time in meeting in person.

Prefer to watch than read? Check out the video above.


What to do if a Right-Fit Client refers a Wrong-Fit prospect?

If this wrong-fit prospect was referred to you, as soon as you get off the phone, call your referral source and say something like, “Hey George, I talked to your friend Bob. Nice guy. We had a great conversation. It turns out the timing isn’t right for us to be working together. I just wanted to let you know. I appreciate the trust you have in me and look forward to the next opportunity.”

If you have an associate to whom you can handoff the wrong-fit prospect, all the better. You’ll feel good that this person is getting the help they need, but not by you.

Later, you can go back to the referral source and then teach them about who you serve the best.

So, be clear on what an upward referral looks like for you. Make sure you know what that is so you can articulate it to others. Do the right thing for your prospects and clients ,and you’ll do the right thing for yourself.

What you put your attention on grows stronger in your life. Put your attention on getting referred up!

P.S. Don’t keep this video blog a secret!

Please share it with your friends, colleagues and co-workers!

And, if you haven’t already, get a copy of my book, Radical Relevance. Then, you can follow along in the book as you see these short videos – so the learning process will be even more powerful.


Referral Coach