How to Get More Referrals

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Want to know how to get more referrals? We talk with Steve Woodruff, the King of Clarity, about what it takes to be referral-ready. Made possible by

It’s #SmallBusinessWeek and we’re talking about how small businesses can prosper. On The BIGG Success Show today, we’re joined by Steve Woodruff – the King of Clarity. He’s here to talk to us about his new book, Clarity Wins: Get Heard. Get Referred*. Here’s a summary of our conversation.

Competition isn’t our biggest concern

We think of competition as companies that have similar offerings as us. Steve says this is one level of competition. But it isn’t our biggest concern.

Our biggest concern is getting the attention of people. It’s the noise that keeps people from ever hearing us, knowing us, or considering us. Well, we think of competition as this company or that company that offering similar things. And you know that that’s one level of competition, but frankly the biggest level of competition for all of us is getting the attention of people, it’s the noise that prevents people from ever hearing us knowing us considering us understanding us. So we all have actually the same competition and it’s the Goliath of noise and stimulation and multiple channels of information flooding every person’s mind every single day.

The resulting traps

There are a couple of traps businesses fall into as they strive to breakthrough the noise. One is the too much information (TMI) trap.

You see this on websites all the time. People dump what they have to say out there. It’s like backing up a dump truck of white papers and assuming everyone will absorb it. That doesn’t work.

You also get the TMI factor at networking events. People speak a bunch of technical jargon. Cue eye roll by whoever is getting pitched.

What is the biggest challenge for every brand and every business? Hear Steve’s answer by listening to the show. Just click the PLAY button above.

What’s the problem with an elevator pitch?

Steve says he doesn’t have a problem with the concept of an elevator pitch. It’s a condensed presentation. He just has two objections: the term “elevator” and the term “pitch”!

Nobody wants to learn anything about somebody in an elevator. And nobody wants to be pitched.

As a replacement of elevator pitches, Steve coined the term “memory dart”. Discover how to create a compelling 15-second memory dart by listening to the show. Just click the PLAY button above.

What does it mean to be referral-worthy and referral-ready?

Steve uses two terms when he talks about referrals.

Referral-worthy is a character and competence issue. Either you do good work or you don’t. Either you’re a good person or you’re not. You earn the right to be referral-worthy.

Referral-ready means you have word pictures that you can pass on to others, which they can pass on to the next person. If you’re referral-ready, you have activated your most important channel for business.

He adds that every business wants referrals. It’s the best way to grow your business because you don’t have to spend money to do it.

Why do most businesses fail to get the referrals they should? Steve reveals the reason on the show. Hit the PLAY button above to listen.

This Podcast Episode is Sponsored by:

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Why should you seek to be pigeonholed?

Most of us resist being pigeonholed. Steve wants us to embrace it. He says the human is brain is constructed so people remember you, your company, and your product with a few associated terms that are either positive or negative, based on their experience.

In other words, they pigeonhole you – based on a few thoughts, word pictures, ideas, definitions and experiences. Steve calls these #hashtags. We attach #hashtags to something to provide descriptive information.

How do you make sure people remember the #hashtags you want? Steve shares the answer on the podcast. Click PLAY above to listen.

Why clarity (and other things) require a coach?

Steve says he firmly believes humans can’t be objective. We are subjective beings. Companies aren’t objective about who they are. Neither are individuals.

He adds that an “outsider” can often help us get in touch with our differentiators. We simply fail to see our skills as strengths. We take them for granted. The two of us can attest to this from both sides – as coaches and consumers of coaching. We don’t know what we’d do (or how far back we’d be) without coaching.

What motivated you to strike out on your own?

Steve says that, after two 10-year stints, with two small companies – where he did sales, marketing, management, projects, strategy, and a lot of other things – and after reading a book about discovering your strengths*, he realized that only he (and he alone) could and would create a position ideally suited for him.

He adds: Companies are there for their own interests, for their customers. Employees were a means to an end. So they weren’t going to create a job around him. So in his 40s – given who he was and his skill set – he was either going to go for it and create something of enormous value built around him or he was just going to have to grit his teeth and work for the rest of his career doing stuff that was maybe kinda sorta good. He wasn’t ready to do that.

There’s still so much more to learn from Steve’s fantastic book, Clarity Wins: Get Heard*. Get Referred. We highly recommend it to you!

Here’s to your BIGG success!

George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
signatures: George & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success

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