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Are You Deserving of a Referral?
There are many reasons why people don’t get referrals.  Maybe they haven’t been doing what they do long enough; maybe they haven’t built a deep, credible network; maybe they’re just not well connected; or maybe they’re complicated in their approach, product or delivery.

Quite possibly (shock, horror, gasp), they simply don’t deserve it.  This is not a personal attack in any way.  I know many people who are truly nice, honorable people, but they don’t deserve my referrals.  A difficult situation I am facing right now has brought this to light.

My mother was faced with having major heart surgery which included a double bypass, aortic valve replacement, and possible aortic root enlargement.  Her cardiologist referred us to a local surgeon in a small town where mom lives, but I’m not sure he is deserving.   He is very nice with a caring bedside manner. His track record is great, and he has years of experience.  That’s the positive side.  The negative is that he is not published or ranked, he is not a research doctor, nor is he is a professor. We found that he is somewhat close-minded on the new minimally invasive procedures and he was not even aware of some new research we discovered.   The icing on the cake is that his hospital affiliation is ranked as an average hospital by several studies. THIS IS MY MOTHER WE ARE TALKING ABOUT! So, as you can see, he is a nice guy but given the choice, we are going to a nearby major medical center that is highly ranked nationally.  This medical center has a  Cardiology Center that is a world-renowned research and teaching center that specializes in minimally invasive procedures that were not even an option at the first hospital. They are doing groundbreaking research on the exact procedure my mom needs.  the doctor that performed the surgery is the head of Cardio-thoracic surgery, he is published, he is a teacher, he leads groundbreaking research and is ranked in numerous surveys as one of the best surgeons in the country.  He has done the work.

It’s not that the first doctor is not good, he is, but he’s just not in the same league as the doctor we were referred to.

We usually have a choice when we buy anything.  So my questions are:

  • Are you deserving?
  • Are you in the same league?
  • Have you put the time in?
  • Are you a knowledgeable expert in your industry?
  • Are you certified?  Licensed?
  • Are you up to date on all the new trends in your industry?
  • Do you have industry certifications?
  • Do you attend training and conferences?
  • Are you published?
  • Do you have a blog?”

I can already hear you saying: I don’t need all of this, I don’t have the time to do this, it’s irrelevant, I’m successful, I’m already getting business. Let’s face it, folks, if given a choice, and I almost always have a choice, I will choose the provider who is more deserving of the referral.  You can probably make a good living without addressing all these questions, but if you want to be at the top of your game, charge higher prices, and be thought of as a leader in your industry, then you must identify how each question relates to your business and then make changes so you can answer “yes’ to the questions.

In one of my classes where we talk about becoming a knowledgeable expert, I use the following example.  In this example, you need a referral to a tax accountant and you have three CPAs sitting in the room.  One CPA has a stack of business cards, one CPA has collateral material about his firm, and one CPA has all of the former things plus a bestselling book on tax accounting. With this being all the information you have available, who would you choose?  I know which one I would choose. How about you?

Do the work, put in the time, be deserving of a referral, and you will get many more of them.

Bye for now: I have to go work on my next book,

PS.  Another thing I have learned is that time does matter, don’t put off doing what you can do today because tomorrow might not get here.

PSS.  Mom is recovering from surgery in record-breaking time.  If you know someone who needs heart surgery I have a great referral for you.