A Tale Of Two Cities. Er, I mean Referrals!

May 18th, 2009 | By | Category: Marketing Professional Services, Marketing With Speeches, Practice Building With Backend Sales

I have a friend. No really. I know what you’re thinking, but I really do have one. He’s known me for over twenty years now and he still talks to me. Which is more than I can say about some of my ex-wives.

My friends name is Gary. Gary Pernice.

During the years I’ve known Gary, he’s met and counseled with some of the top leaders, the movers and shakers, of the world. Notice I said world, not just country, not just state, but world movers and shakers. (You can see him talking to Mikhail Gorbachev here.) But even then, Gary has always had time to minister to others. (You can see the results of his outreach here.)

What I’m saying here is that Gary is someone I’m proud to know. And someone I am proud to refer others to. I know, like and trust Gary.

Recently I was in a Chattanooga web design meeting where some of us beginners were learning from some experienced website designers. I was there trying to improve my non-existent web design skills. In the group were a couple of fellows who had traveled together and who were at different levels of accomplishment.

In a conversation with one of the two, I was able to determine that he was in the sound and lighting business, and concentrated on church and event staging. He also disclosed that he was struggling to make contacts and build his business in what he considered to be a very competitive environment. And, how a church in his market was involved in building a new facility and he would like to have the opportunity to bid on the project.

Voila. Lights go off in my mind. My friend Gary is on the board of two companies that could benefit this guy. He is on the board of directors of a financial institution that specializes in church, ministry and nonprofit organization mortgage financing, (Chuch and Ministry Finance International) and just happens to know who the principals involved in the particular churc project that this fellow wants to make contact with so badly.

Gary is also on the board of directors of another business, the Platinum Business Group in Hollywood, which just happens to have a subsidiary that does funding for major entertainment and production companies.

Gary would have been a perfect contact to help this guy get his business rolling. So I gave each of them the others name.

Gary is still waiting for his call. But, I doubt that at this point he’ll feel very comfortable with helping someone who doesn’t act quickly and decisively when given an opportunity.

Now let’s talk about another guy. A subscriber of mine, named Markwei Boye.

Markwei has been a subscriber of mine for almost two years, and he’s bought into my ideas about Rainmaker Marketing since the beginning. It’s been a joy and a pleasure to talk to Markwei about practice building and see how he has used public speaking along with back of the room sales of small business management workbooks to enhance his image and build his reputation.

Following this model has enabled Markwei to grow to the point where he is getting recognized by the state and city (a major metropolitan area) where he practices, and will be giving small business management training to new entrepreneurs in a state and federally funded redevelopment program.

Today, in a conversation with Markwei, it occurred to me that he and Gary had a lot in common, and it would benefit Markwei to get to know Gary. I know, like and trust Markwei. So, I went out on the limb again, and passed another contact on to Gary. Markwei did soemthing the other guy didn’t do, Markwei called.

The result, Markwei has several major churches with funding needs that Gary is going to look at, and try to help get their building programs funded. Markwei is getting state and federal funding to run his small business training academy in parallel with his accounting and tax practice, and Gary’s contacts will help him.

So, the upshot of this?

For me? Be careful about giving referrals. I now plan on developing a track record with someone before I pass their name on to anyone else. I want to know them, like them, and trust them. I don’t need to embarrass myself by introducing two people, when one of them is going to drop the ball.

For you? If someone refers you to someone who can help you … act on the referral. Make the call. A lost opportunity is just that, a lost opportunity.

For Gary? Review whether it’s worth all the bother to keep answering Kirk’s phone calls.

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  1. Ola! Kirkward,
    Thanks for that, I may perhaps be slightly off theme but a specific thing I have noticed right now with numerous families doing it hard is that they dont have a lot of time spare to devote in doing their accounts. They would rather be working or making use of that time to chase down more work. The general thought pattern right now is that what is necessary is a unique approach to accounting, a far more simplified way of dong the books with no need of all the needless runaround that is typical of traditional bookkeeping… in any case thats my observation.
    Great Job!

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