BY BILL CATES, CSP, CPAE
ASK THE EXPERT
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said, “Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.” Here’s the King of Social
Networking telling us that before we get all enamored
with social media, to make sure we master how our
clients prefer to meet us—through a recommendation
from someone they already trust.
HIERARCHY OF REFERRAL
You’re familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? I
think the first level is shelter. Then water, food, beer,
and Monday Night Football. Right? Here is the Cates’
Hierarchy of Referrals from bottom to top.
Word of mouth. Nice to get.
In fact, anyone worth a hill of beans
should be getting these unsolicited
referrals and introductions.
Referrals. Often, they go
something like this … “Call
George Smith and use my name.”
Prospects have a million messages
coming at them, so old-style
leads are no longer enough to cut
through the noise.
Recommendations. Clearly a
step up. Your referral source says,
“You should talk to her. She’ll do a
great job for you.”
move the process forward. Our
referral source connects us with the
prospect—quite often in the form
of an email “handshake.” Now we
have an actionable connection!
Advocacy. The pinnacle of this
hierarchy is advocacy. An advocate
will make a strong recommendation and follow through on the
connection to make sure it leads to
ADVOCACY FOR NSA
Is a bigger NSA a better NSA?
Most of our members say, “Yes.”
We know that more active professional members bring more
brainpower to our meetings,
improved access to people and
resources between meetings, and
better budgets for higher production value at our meetings.
Help NSA grow with the right
types of members—those who
give to get. Our prospective member funnel demonstrates the value of being an NSA member and makes
joining a smooth process. ■
KEEP TALKING NSA
who speak to
(After all, we’re
not the National
BILL CATES, CSP, CPAE, is the president of Referral
Coach International, a member of NSA’s National
Board, and one of the founding
members of NSA’s Million Dollar
Speakers Group. He is the author
of several books on referrals,
including Beyond Referrals and
Don’t Keep Me a Secret.
The highest form of referral
Word of Mouth