Your Actions Tell Your Clients How You Expect To Be Treated

John Jantsch

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There is a widely accepted principle of human behavior that goes something like this. “Your actions tell the world how you expect to be treated. " Look all around you and you will find that the truth of this statement is as evident as the clothes you wear.

So, if you don't expect to be successful, you're telling the world you probably don't think you have what it takes to succeed, if you don't expect to get the order, you probably won't, if you don't expect to get referrals from your clients, you probably don't believe in your heart that you deserve them.

Recently, I did a survey of the readers of this newsletter (thanks to those who participated) asking what the number one thing was that you wanted to know about generating referrals. Somewhat to my surprise, an overwhelming amount of people suggested that the number one thing that held them back was fear of asking for referrals.

Now what is that saying to your clients?

One the absolutely most effective way to generate a flood of new business by way of referral is to simply make receiving high quality referrals a condition of doing business with your firm. Build referral lead generation right into your service.

Here is how you can do it. The next client you land must be presented with the fact that part of their responsibility in the relationship is to provide you with 3 referrals in the next 90 days. (Now don't worry, you're going to tell them exactly how to do that. )

Try this statement on for size: Mr. Client, we intend to make you so outrageously happy with our service and the results we provide that we know that at the end of 90 days you will want to refer 3 more people just like you.

I dare you to try this out.

Guess what your clients will say?

"Well, sure, okay"

Of course they will agree, what else are they going to say.

But here's the real beauty of this statement and strategy. Look at what your actions are saying. We know you are going to be thrilled. We know we deserve referrals. We sure as heck plan on delivering the goods.

So now how is the world going to treat you?

Here are some pointers on how you can implement this strategy.

  • You can make it part of your “getting to know you" meeting

  • You can have a set 90 day check-up referral meeting

  • You can look for “moments of truth" or anytime you or someone on your staff gets a compliment from a client.

  • You can make a game out of it - Say the magic word and set off the referral flood.

Some rules to make it real

  • Be prepared to educate your referral source about your business

  • Tell them exactly the type of client you are looking for

  • Make sure they understand you want people who want the same level of service they receive

  • If you have specific target clients in mind, show them the list

  • Make it easy - give them stamped referral postcards and sample referral letters

Copyright 2004 John Jantsch

About The Author

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant based in Kansas City, Mo. He writes frequently on real world small business marketing tactics and is the creator of Duct Tape Marketing a turn-key small business marketing system. Check out his blog at - gets these kinds of killer tips weekly by sending an email to


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