Case Studies

Referral Upgrade Case Studies

I’m going to use this page to compile examples of case studies of my methods in action. Some of these are older and the rest I will update as they happen. They are all true and lead to my very best clients, referrers, and opportunities- My Big Three. You can do this too. All you have to do is read Referral Upgrade and do what it tells you to do and soon you will be swimming in a sea of your very best clients, referrers, and opportunities.

At this point, you may be thinking this sounds great but way too good to be true. It is true, and I will show you exactly how to make this happen over and over again and how to build a team of rainmakers eager to refer you. This is a process that turns getting referrals on its head, while making it fun and exciting for you and your referrer.

Let me give you two real-life examples. In the first, I used these principles unconsciously, while, in the second, I used them intentionally.

About twenty years ago, I invited the president of a local business group to lunch, as I was interested in joining her organization to promote a joint venture with a life insurance company and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on a national quality award for small businesses. It was called “The Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative,” and I had no idea the amazing results and insights it would lead to. Having asked whom she could recommend in her organization that I might interview, she gave me 25 names. I went to see them one by one. Now this was long before I thought of the ideas described here, but there are some important similarities.

The first prospect on the list, Rick, was a successful manufacturer. I told him what I did for a living and that he had been recommended as a candidate for the U.S. Chamber Small Business Quality Award. Keep in mind that I was simply trying to meet business owners on good terms that might someday turn into clients. He was clearly touched that he had been recommended by the president of his business organization, but said, “We like to keep our ideas quiet, but can you sell me $5,000,000 of life insurance?” I gulped, said yes, and ended up selling him $28,000,000 of insurance, over the next several years, which turned out to be the amount he ultimately wanted. At the time, it was the biggest sale of my career.

More recently, I told a friend of mine about this process, and he suggested I go see his friend, John. He said John was well connected and was president of a sailing club, implying that the members of that club might be good prospects for me as well. I called John, and asked for referrals. If you could read their thoughts, you invited me to come to his office. During the interview, he told me that he was expanding his company and asked if I could sell him $20,000,000 of life insurance.

Here’s the point: I wasn’t trying to sell insurance to either Rick or John, yet in both cases they initiated the purchase. This just happens when you interview people and focus on them, and I don’t think it really matters what kind of interview it is. Come from the place of “How can I help you get where you want to go?” Listen and give them your complete attention and time. You want to hear their story. It’s focusing on them and understanding their vision, without trying to sell anything, which makes the magic happen. Most people have no idea how to do this and will keep flying standby. Worse yet, some readers may skim through this and say, “Oh yeah, I get it, don’t try to sell them,” but they will miss the point and the opportunity. Referral Upgrade works, and it will work for you too. I’ve made all the mistakes before you and will show you how to stay on track and win. The wonderful news is that you can go back to all your clients who didn’t refer you the first time and, using these methods, get great referrals now.

Until I discovered this process, I searched diligently for ways to ask for referrals. I attended lectures, read books and articles, and it all boiled down to two things: exceed your client’s expectations and ask for referrals. Good idea, but this is better. Give it a try, and you will develop a deeper collaborative relationship with your ideal clients and referrers and create a lifetime of access to your best opportunities. It will blow your previous results out of the water. So stop flying standby, turn the page, and begin a lifetime of referral upgrades.

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