Turn Lame Duck Networkers Into Golden Goose Referrals

February 10, 2009

By Lee Abraham

chiropractorDr. Hugh Needatwist is a Chiropractor who built his business with word-of-mouth referrals. Same with Manny Goodbuys, the Realtor in his Power Team business network.

Although the two networkers are from different Contact Spheres (Health & Wellness vs. Real Estate & Finance), there are countless ways the two very different businesses can generate business for each other.

Order Takers

Manny the Realtor is working with a middle aged couple moving into town from another State. Driving around looking at houses, the chit chat flows non stop. One minute it’s all about their kids and pets, the next a rapid fire Q&A on local restaurants.

And then the topic turns to local doctors. All of a sudden, the husband blurts out, “I just remembered… do you know a good Chiropractor here in town? My back is killing me. I’m sure gonna miss good old Dr. Popalot back in Toledo!”

Turns out the couple was in a car accident several months ago and have been under regular Chiropractic care for neck injuries. Like most folks, they only want to work with a Chiropractor they can trust. And as is often the case, clients moving into a new town ask their Realtor for recommendations on everything from restaurants and pet sitters to eye doctors and, yes, Chiropractors.

Manny instantly becomes Dr. Needatwist’s “Bragging Buddy” and says, order-taker1“Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. Dr. Hugh Needatwist is great! He’s the only Chiropractor I let work on me on my family. He’s not only a really nice guy, he’s very good at what he does. Here’s Dr. Needatwist’s card. Would you like me to have him give you a call?”

In this scenario, Manny is an “Order Taker.” In other words, someone asked a direct question, “Do you know a good Chiropractor?” All Manny had to do to create a referral for the Chiropractor is respond to the question.

Connectors

The next day, Manny is at the office Sales Meeting. One of the other agents is in obvious discomfort walking with a limp and continually rubbing his neck.

Manny walks up to the other agent and asks “What happened?”

“I was doing some trim paint on the outside of our house yesterday,” the agent says, “I slipped off the ladder, landed on my back and have been in pain ever since!”

“Do you have a good Chiropractor to help you recover?” connectorManny asks. “I’ve seen my Chiropractor, Dr. Hugh Needatwist, help lots of injured people get out of pain. In fact, I see him myself. He’s very gentle and can help you feel better without prescription drugs. Would you like Dr. Needatwist’s card or can I have him call you?”

In this case, Manny is a “Connector.” He saw someone in obvious pain, made the connection that the Chiropractor can help, and took an active role asking the prospect if he would be interested in the Chiropractor’s services.

Creators

Later in the day, Manny is at a Chamber of Commerce mixer. One of Manny’s friends introduces him to a Personal Injury Lawyer.

Manny recalls the Chiropractor on his Power Team is looking for introductions to Personal Injury Lawyers because they are a “Golden Goose” for his Chiropractic business.

In other words, Personal Injury Lawyers frequently recommend Chiropractors (as well as Massage Therapists, Physical Therapists, etc.) to their injured clients.

After a little small talk, Manny transforms into a Bragging Buddy of the highest order, a referral “Creator.”

 shooter“I do a lot of networking with a terrific Chiropractor named Dr. Hugh Needatwist,” Manny says in an enthusiastic tone. “In fact, he’s the only Chiropractor I let work on me and my family. Doc Needatwist is just a really nice guy and he’s very good at what he does.”

Manny is now poised as a referral sharp shooter. Target in sight he carefully takes aim before pulling the Trigger question. “Dr. Needatwist told me he is looking for a Personal Injury Lawyer to refer business back and forth with. Apparently some of his patients ask for Personal Injury Lawyer recommendations, and as I said, he’s great at what he does.

“Would it be OK if I gave Dr. Needatwist your card so you two can discuss referring business back and forth?”

Who Knew?

As a result of meeting regularly to learn about each other’s business, Manny knows the Chiropractor wants to be introduced to Personal Injury Lawyers. The reason is obvious: Lawyers can be an ongoing source of business for a Chiropractor.

Seizing opportunity and singing the Chiropractor’s praises, the Realtor is proactive, asking if it would be OK for the Chiropractor to make contact. 

Three Levels of Referrals

Got your notebook? Let’s nail down three very important terms:

Order Taker: Passive Bragging Buddy reacts to a direct question: “Do you know a good Chiropractor?”

Connector: Active Bragging Buddy recognizes a Visual Target (someone limping, rubbing their neck or in obvious discomfort) or a Target Phrase (“I fell off a ladder,” “Car Accident”) and approaches the prospect as a Bragging Buddy.

golden-goose1Creator: – Proactive Bragging Buddy recognizes and approaches a Golden Goose source of ongoing referrals for the Power Team.

Next time out we light a fire under your Power Team’s “Lame Duck” Order Takers and serve up a silver platter of Golden Goose referrals, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter!