Do You Know Any Good Jokes?
Has anyone ever asked you if you know any jokes? I’m sure you know plenty—good and awful—but can you actually think of any of them when someone asks?
This very same thing happens when you ask someone “do you know anybody who could benefit from my services?”.
They probably know a lot of people, but they can’t think of a single one!
They’re thinking about it.
They really want to help you.
There’s a much better way to ask for referrals.
It’s not their fault they couldn’t come up with anyone. It was yours.
Become the master of the *ask*.
When you ask people “who they know” or if they “know anyone who,” a fuzzy image of the 200 people they know blurs through their mind.
But not one individual comes into clear focus.
So no referral for you.
The solution: funnel their focus down to just a few people. Your job is to give them a universe they can work with.
Harry is on the board of a large association. You ask Harry if he “knows anyone” in the association who fits your profile. Harry will go blank while earnestly trying to think of anyone.
Instead, you create a much tighter frame of reference with a question like this…
“You know the five people on the board with you? Do you feel any of them would be open to knowing about xxx?”
Now faces will become clear. Harry can actually answer this question and probably hand you at least one person as a reference.
If you want referrals…and I believe you do, because they’ll grow your business faster than just about any other method…your job is to always make it easy for the person you’re asking.
Frame your “ask” to a universe they can see, touch and offer.
They’ll be much more comfortable with your question, and you’ll reap the benefits.
Go forth and do great things,
Martha Hanlon & Chris Williams