If you’ve been in business for a while you have probably experienced the gift of a referral. No need to cold call and network during your precious time if business is coming in through referrals.

Over the years I have taught business people across a wide range of industries on how to get more and better referrals.  The course I created was pretty darn good with templates, scripts, action plans, practice time built into the program and even a conversation about beliefs that sabotage success getting referrals.  People got results after the training, but I have to say not everybody got results every time.

As a trainer and coach there is nothing more frustrating than sharing your best stuff and watching people take notes, but then not doing a single thing with the information.  So, I started doing what trainers do if that situation arises.  I added more content and made the sessions longer.  If I just gave them more good stuff, I bet then they would use it.

Here’s the dirty little secret…it’s not more skills stuff that most people needed, it was a better understanding of what was blocking people from using what they know that everyone needed.

In a recent coaching session with a successful entrepreneur, I learned that he clearly deserves more referrals than that he receives; we peeled back a layer of the onion he had not reached.  He thought he needed new sound bites and scripts to get more referrals, but an Emotional Intelligence assessment report showed that while he is extremely high in his interpersonal relationship skills, his score on assertiveness was quite a bit lower.

Translation:  even if I gave him great new stuff to say, the words will likely never make it out of his mouth unless we find a way for him to be a little more assertive, not necessarily aggressive, but assertive.

In order to do implement the skills that he had been taught, he first had to learn how to get permission to talk about referrals and for him, that was easier once he exceeded the expectations of his clients.  Permission changes everything, without permission in advance; he was uncomfortable asking for referrals no matter what he was coached to say.  Now with a heightened awareness of ways to enhance his assertiveness and ways to get permission to do so, it almost doesn’t matter what exact words he chooses to say, he’s getting more and better referrals.

Merit Gest teaches people how to become Possibility Thinkers at conferences around the globe.  To book Merit for your next event, please call 720-980-1286, or visit www.MeritGest.com

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