Tag Archives: “paul mccord”

Successful Referrals Require More than Just Your Reputation

26 May

Paul McCord has an excellent series of posts on the 4 requirements for a successful referral.


Pillar 1: Your Relationship to Your Client
Pillar 2: Your Client’s Purchasing Experience
Pillar 3: Your Client’s Relationship to the Referred Prospect
Pillar 4: How You Contact Your Referred Prospect

Paul says that clients don’t like to give referrals. I agree, I think they’re much better at being a reference then pro-actively giving you a referral.  But referrals can be earned and Paul details the “how” which mostly revolves around your reputation with your client.

What’s really interesting is discussed in Paul’s 3rd pillar.  He says, “Your referred prospect will view YOU the same way they view your Client– Good, Bad, or Indifferent”  I absolutely agree.  Inquisix’s data on the quality of a reputation given shows that the better the relationship between the the person giving the referral and their referred colleague, the better the referral experience.  The first hint of a bad referral is how the referral is handled, which is Paul’s 4th Pillar.

So the primary reputation factor in a good referral is not between the person asking and the person giving the referral. Rather, it’s between the person giving the referral and their referred colleague.

Pillars 3 and 4 are why Inquisix allows members to rate each side of the referral via reputation points.  If you give a referral, that member will rate you on the quality of the referral given.  If you get a referral, that member will rate you on how well you treated their trusted colleague. Your Inquisix reputation rating of giving and getting referrals then becomes the badge that all other members can use to validate your credentials.



Use Customers for References Not Referrals

16 Feb

Two recent postings by Jan Visser and Paul McCord got me thinking about how to best use customers to increase your business. As the chart from eMarketer below says, business decisions are heavily influenced by colleagues’ word-of-mouth. Naturally, sales people try to get referrals from their customers to gain new ones. After all, they’re the best referral you can get! But as Paul pointed out, having your customer say, “Give so-and-so at this company a call and use my name” is often not much more than a cold call. Paul and I agree that it’s much better if they contact so-and-so and make the introduction directly. But they often won’t.


Why is this? Why won’t customers give you referrals? Or as Paul prefers to ask, “Why won’t customers make introductions for you?” There are several reasons but the primary one is that customers don’t really know how. It’s not in their DNA to voluntarily call someone up and tell them about your solution. However, they will respond to a request for feedback on your solution.

The chart says that the top influence on buying decisions is from colleagues. However, the chart does not suggest if the buyer received a call or made the call. I will bet that it’s the buyer making the call to their buddy, “Hey, do you have any thoughts on this product?” or “I have this problem, do you have any idea on how to solve it?” Since Customers often give references instead of making referrals, why not use them that way? If customers are uncomfortable making referrals/introductions then don’t use them that way. Get your referrals somewhere else and let your customer give the reference.

Expect your customers to receive calls on your behalf but not make them on your behalf.