Referral Repellant


Over the years I’ve done a lot of work with people who work in the self-improvement business and many of them encounter a similar problem when it comes to getting people to refer business to them.

In many cases, a referral feels natural and exciting to the other person you are talking to when you, for example, refer a restaurant that has great food or offer to help connect someone to a lawyer who can review a complicated contract.

But there’s also the referrals that don’t feel very natural and may actually feel a little invasive.

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of one of these types of referrals you know what I mean.

Who likes to be told that they need to talk to a personal trainer about gaining weight?

Or someone who can help manage their money?

Or a stylist who can give them a makeover?

And the list goes on and on, but the fact remains that referring someone to a self-improvement option can lead to inadvertently insulting the person, especially if they don’t agree that they need a service.

Telling someone they need something is referral repellent.

No one likes to be told what to do and often when people tell us something, even if it’s the truth we don’t necessarily always want to hear it.

So what do you do instead?

Point the person struggling to the least invasive content that the person you’re referring has.

It’s much easier to mention a cool article or email you read about weight loss than to tell someone they should look into getting a personal trainer.

Or to share a video with someone from a financial planner explaining certain mistakes people make and how to avoid them.

And if YOU are one of these people who has a service that seems hard to refer, think about if you have any of your own non-invasive content to share.

If not, it may be time to get some.

Very few people want to be told what to do.

But most people like to learn what to do on their own.


Artwork © Lara Knutson

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