Boost Your Business With More Referrals

A presenter at April’s Pumper & Cleaner Profit Series explores the art of business referrals along with a little advice from boxing legend Evander Holyfield
Boost Your Business With More Referrals

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Steve Beecham, president of Home Town Mortgage in Alpharetta, Georgia, is an author and speaker who specializes in networking and leveraging social connections. He’ll discuss the power of referrals in his session, “Bass-Ackward Business: The Power Of Helping Without Hustling,” at the Pumper & Cleaner Profit Series, April 4 - 6 in Celebration, Florida. Here, he answers a few questions about his upcoming workshop.

Q: What was the inspiration for this workshop?
When I first got into the mortgage industry, I knew I wanted to be a major player, so I focused on ways to grow my business. I decided I wanted to use referrals, so I did a deep dive on why people refer someone. What makes people want to spend money with you? Referrals helped me become one of the top producing loan officers in Georgia.

Soon, I began mentoring people who had seen my business grow. I decided to gather my ideas and write a book about referrals in the real-estate industry. The book gained momentum, and for the past five years, I’ve been speaking, coaching and training. My focus is, “How do you get more people in your village — your community — to talk about you and refer you?” My techniques are all based on that premise.

Q:  Why are referrals so important?
Referrals are important because you don’t have to compete on price. For example, if you’re getting a knee replacement, you aren’t concerned with cost; you just want to have the best doctor. Many people don’t think of their businesses that way.

The best way to get a referral is to give a referral. In fact, I give out more referrals than I receive because if I send you a customer, I’ve got a better chance of doing business with you. It’s a great way to get more referral business.

Q: Why do business owners struggle with giving or getting referrals?
Most small businesses aren’t specific. What kind of customer do you want? What kind of business do you want to get? When you provide details, your contacts will know to think of you. During an introduction, take a few extra seconds to let that person know whom you need to meet. About 75 percent of the time, your contact will have a referral.

Q: Are most companies reluctant to provide details?
Yes. For instance, you might tell someone, “I’m a septic pumper, call me if you need me.” However, you could have said, “How well do you know your neighbors? I bet they have septic tanks, too.” And that’s how you meet more people. You need to be specific.

Q: How do you create “buzz?”
If I tell someone to call a reference, what else am I going to say? It’s all based on what you tell me about yourself and your company. That’s your buzz. When you’re with people, tell them about your accomplishments and get people talking. Everyone’s buzz can be different – and get it out there as a story.

Q: Are people reluctant to do that because they consider it bragging?
Oh, yeah. I tell them, “Don’t brag. That’s the last thing you want to do.” Find ways to drop your accomplishments into conversation. If you don’t put something out there for others to talk about, then they aren’t going to talk about it.

Q: What do you hope PCPS attendees will take away from your presentation?
I hope those attending learn to build deeper relationships with people, and I hope they learn to explain their customer base. What’s your current buzz, and how can you get better buzz?

Also, how you talk to yourself is extremely important.

For example, I was sitting at a breakfast this past year with Evander Holyfield beside me. I leaned over and asked him, “What do you say to yourself?” He said when he was little, his mom took him to the local boys club to toughen him up. He started boxing and went to a big match and lost. He told his mom he wanted to quit, and she said, “I did not raise a quitter. You will not quit.”

Holyfield told me, “Every time things get rough or go wrong, I think about my mom telling me, ‘I did not raise a quitter.’” I asked him how often he said that to himself, and he said about 15 to 20 times a day. Highly successful people have a personal motto that plays in their heads. It’s the thing you live by. It’s very important.


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