What to Say to Get Referrals

An InfoMinute is the way to answer the question “What do you do?” and get referrals. One-third of the minute — 20 seconds — needs to be resonant client identification, in three parts.

The Green Card is: who + how.

Who is a person, one person, identified by name, by title, or by relationship.

  • Name sounds like “Chris Jones”
  • Title sounds like “Marketing Director for a law firm”
  • Relationship sounds like “your friend”
    (Of the three, relationship is the weakest because it is ubiquitous and violates the referral rule that specific is always more profitable than general.)

How is a behaviour the listener can see. We can’t see a want – a want is an emotion, and we can’t see emotions. We can see laughter, and tears, they are behaviours — we can not see happy or sad.

Communication is what the listener does. If the listener thinks then there’s a conversation and an introduction. If there’s no picture in the listener’s mind, then …

The Golden Card is: Commander’s Intent

Who is the Commander. 
This is a statement, not a question. When I ask the question “Who is the Commander?” people always say, “I am!”

All referral marketing has to be about the client. So the answer to Who is the Commander is the prospect – the person identified in the Green Card.

Commander’s Intent is the end result they want — when everything is done, what result does the Who want? When you share that two good things happen:

  1. It’s clear you understand your clients;
  2. we’ll transfer that credibility when we talk about you.

The Platinum Card is: a Kindling Question to start a conversation.
The purpose of a Kindling Question is to have a conversation. The purpose of the conversation is to make them think asking for an introduction was their idea! A Kindling Question is never about you or your business.

Now let’s play with real life Green, Golden, and Platinum Cards – for the money.

  • “I am a great resource for the couple you know with two kids and are both busy professionals. You often see them in their SUV’s driving the kids to youth sporting events. A kindling question may be how are your investments doing?”
  • “I’m a great referral for your Aunt Betty that is going into the hospital for surgery. It is often suggested you give your own blood in advance and she has been told she might need a transfusion. Ask her whether she has given blood lately and ask her if it has been tested for Babesia?”
  • “I am a great referral for a family or small business looking to save money on their health and life insurance. Partner today with a continuing educator who will help optimize your policies thoughout the years even into Medicare enrollment.” 
  • “I am a good referral for grandparents who want to set an example of financial responsibility and emphasize the importance of protecting their loved ones.” 
  • “We expect a very different view going forward, and you should have an experienced rep on your side, when negotiating.”


Now let’s look at some good examples of good:

Diana Crawford    David Arnold     Jill Pullen     Mike Smith     Heather Riggs     Jason Conn


Who + how, Commander’s Intent, Kindling Question = referrals.

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