How to Create Referrals on Demand – The Psychology

PART 1:  Psychology of Referrals

Lets begin with the surprising yet simple psychology behind the last time you referred something to someone or someone referred you.

Almost every referral begins with a conversation.

Often we refer, a movie, a book, a restaurant, or a service provider. Why?

The reason is because we are typically in a conversation about the topic when the referral takes place.

Just the other day, I was chatting with a friend about how he really wanted to get back into the gym but felt like he needed a personal trainer.  I quickly called the gym I go to and told them I will be bringing a friend in to try the facility and get a personal training session.

I didn’t get anything from referring the personal training studio. I didn’t get a free month or referral bucks and I didn’t get a special gift or chance to win an iPad.

My trainer and the facility have simply helped me feel better and stay in shape. I trust them and know they can deliver results. I have CONFIDENCE in the studio, remembered them,  and I wanted to help a friend.

Now, the simple psychology of why we do this is begins with our desire to raise our status.  That sounds sort of crazy, but it’s absolutely true. We are wired to seek the approval of others, and when we do something to help someone, we’re looking for some sort of acknowledgement.

Think about it for a second. We don’t even realize it’s happening but when you refer something to someone as simple as a book, or a movie, or a restaurant, the next time you see them, you’re actually looking for that acknowledgement.  “Hey we went over to that new restaurant you told me about and it was awesome! Thanks!” If it doesn’t come immediately, sometimes you may even ask them for it. “Did you try out that restaurant?”

This is an important piece of the puzzle of why people refer. For that moment, your status is raised in their eyes.  This feeling is the primary driver behind why we refer.

It’s not as a favor to the person you’re referring,  you get the same feeling from the person or establishment that you referred them to.  Knowing this is a big move in the right direction toward creating referrals on demand.

The most important step is getting over the thought that you are asking people to do you a favor by introducing your business to their friends. They’re not doing it for you. They do it because it makes them feel good, because they remember you and have confidence in you and your business.

If they don’t think about you or your business… They’re not going to refer you!

That’s why it is essential to make a lasting impression with all your customers. Contact them on their birthday, holidays, and any other creative way you can think of to keep your business fresh in their mind. If your fresh in their mind and that conversation starts up where there is a chance to offer a referral, you will get a great referral.

Stay tuned for part 2 of “How to Create Referrals on Demand