Whenever we complete a programme, we always ask the participants for their feedback.
One aspect of this feedback process asks participants for referrals to people the participants know that, in their opinion, will also benefit from similar training. Getting such referrals is an important aspect of our sales strategy.
So imagine you know that your partner is unhappy at work due to some very ineffective management and leadership behaviour within his/her workplace. You know this because you hear about it every night, especially on Sundays when the dread of returning on Monday sets in for him or her. You also know that your own workplace made the same mistakes before your team went through our training. So you refer us to his/her company.
We then make contact and hopefully get to meet this potential client with the clear need. The interesting bit, always, is the disconnect between how a team experiences their leaders and what the leaders think about themselves.
Most times I walk out of these meetings having received a lecture on how to run a company impeccably and that I should not have wasted my time.
We have sons and daughters referring us to their fathers, we have son-in-law’s referring us to their fathers-in-law, we have people referring us to their closest friends - we have the lot.
So why the resistance? Why would there be any objection at all? Is it pride, a reluctance to hear advice, a blind spot, an inflated ego or just that they are actually OK?
If I was struggling with my business or if I was not living up to my true potential and someone close to me knew what I could do to change my course in life, I believe I would be open to their suggestion and jump in.
I think a contributing factor is that we are not honest with each other. We see people's struggles, we feel their pain, but we feel we can't discuss it with them.
When I call to set up the appointments with the new leads, I find that the person who referred them has never actually discussed the referral and / or the motivation behind the referral with them face to face.
We see the struggles but we don't feel comfortable having the honest chats.
Many years ago someone taught me that our true friends are those people who tell us the truth. “Oh by the way, you have spinach in your teeth”.
By Louis Gerke
Development Facilitator - The Ripple Effect