RETHINKING REFERRALS (PART 4: ENTITLEMENT)

  • Apr 5, 2019

In this article, we will be discussing the final “negative” to relying on referrals as your predominant business plan. Next week, we will conclude this series of articles by talking about solutions and proper alternatives to getting business and how to have a solid marketing plan. If you haven’t read the other three articles you can do so by clicking here: Introduction (Part 1), Limitations (Part 2), and Powerlessness (Part 3)

Today, I want to talk about entitlement and how relying on referrals as a business plan often breeds entitlement. In general, entitlement is one of the biggest “joy suckers” of life. In business, entitlement is one of your worst enemies. The idea that you are entitled to anybody’s business is one that will destroy your company in a hurry. 

Relying on referrals can make you lazy and complacent because you are no longer marketing your business. Instead, you are hoping others will. Ultimately, it breeds this mentality that it is everybody else's responsibility to make sure you have sales

Here is the reality check: You are not entitled to anybody’s business or anybody’s referrals. The more you rely on referrals, the more you will believe that people owe you referrals – and the more upset you will become when you do not get referrals. 

I remember one person telling me that they were really upset at someone else because that person used to give them a lot of referrals and now, they only give them a few a year. Instead of this person being grateful to the other for the referrals they had received from them, they were beginning to resent them because something that was once appreciated had instead become an expectation. 

If someone refers you, then that is great. Say thank you and take it for what it is worth – but don’t come to rely on it. Furthermore, don’t come to expect it and then become upset when you do not get it. 

I have seen more salespeople lose their jobs or have seen their businesses fail because they decided they were entitled to referrals they were no longer getting. Don’t let this happen to you. 

So, in conclusion, do not rely on referrals as your business plan because it can easily breed entitlement. Entitlement will make you upset, bitter, and ultimately entitlement could ruin your business or job. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

You may be reading this and thinking to yourself, “But if I don’t rely on referrals, how will I ever get the business I need?” If this is what you’re thinking, then stay tuned for next week as I will explain the proper way to grow your business where you never run out of prospects, where the power is in your own hands, and where you never feel entitled. 

- Kevin Pendergrass


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