Categorized | List Building

Why You Don’t Get Referrals

The other day my 23-year son called and asked me to recommend a good Chiropractor for him to see for his back (Don’t worry, this article really is about real estate agents).

He knows I am personally acquainted with several Chiropractors. In my office building there are two that I like, and know really well, and in the last few years I have been treated by 3 or 4 others in the local area.

Yet when my son asked me who I would recommend, I realized I did not know a Chiropractor that I would recommend to him.

I was surprised by my reaction to the question. I remember hanging up the phone asking myself “How is it you can know that many Chiropractors, use them and like them and yet not be able to refer him to any of them?”

If he had called me and asked that question 10 years earlier I would have had no problem giving him a referral. I would have given one specific Chiropractors name without any thought or hesitation.

So what was the difference between the Chiropractor I saw ten years ago and the ones I know now? Why didn’t I refer any of them to my son? It took a few minutes and then it came to me.

I did not refer my son to any one person because when I thought about them I didn’t consider any of them as an expert.

I certainly did not have the thought “I should give him Dr. So and So’s name because ______”. When I thought of who I should recommend to him I had a mental blank. I couldn’t think of a single reason to refer one over another. They all seemed the same to me. There wasn’t one that I considered better for him than the others.

The Chiropractor I saw 10 years ago was an expert. He was the medical director for the Professional Water-Ski tour. He was the Medical Director for Wrangler Pro Rodeo. He was the Official Chiropractor for Norway’s Winter Olympic Team. He was the Chiropractor for a couple of pro sports teams. He had written all kinds of articles and had them framed in his waiting room. He had testimonial after testimonial from World Champion Cowboys, Water-Skiers, and Downhill Skiers on his walls describing how he solved their pain and helped them win.

If I still lived there I would have told my son that he should definitely go see this Chiropractor because he is an expert. I would have said: “He is the Chiropractor for a pro sports team. He went to Norway and worked with Olympic athletes. He is good because______”

But instead I ended up telling my son that I really couldn’t give him a reason to see any of them. Then I asked if he had checked out the phone book or looked on the net.

What does this have to do with you as a real estate agent?

I am almost positive that in the minds of your clients and prospects the same thing is happening. They think you are no different that almost every other agent out there.

Is your marketing Proving to them that you are the expert?

Can they fill in the blank and say you should call So and So because___________. And “knowing you, liking you and trusting you” is not going to be a good enough reason to refer to you.

Have you told them what the “because’s” are?

Have you proven that to them?

Have you shown, proven and explained to them the dramatic difference between you and all the other agents out there?

Do you even know how to explain and prove that difference?

In my workshops I will ask agents to write down what makes them different from all the other agents in town, and invariably none of them can come up with an answer. The majority of agents themselves think they are pretty much the same as every other agent competing against them.

Look at your marketing and ask yourself “Who else can say that?”. If other real estate agents can say the same thing you are wasting money.

If you don’t know the specific benefit you have, that no one else has, and why that is important, then how the heck will your prospects? How will your prospective clients know why they should use your services instead of the other 10,000 agents in town?

And that is why none of the Chiropractors I know got a referral. None of them have set themselves apart and given me a reason to believe they are an expert… and that is also why you aren’t getting as many referrals as you want either.

In another article I will discuss the “authority” cognitive bias and one way you can use it to become “the expert” that people will refer to.

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