889: STOP Asking for Real Estate Referrals with Stacey Brown Randall

March 9, 2020
Asking for referrals is the only way to generate more referral-based business, right? Wrong! According to referral expert Stacey Brown Randall, explicitly asking for referrals is a terrible strategy. With her unique approach to referral generation, she’s helped her clients grow from 30-40 referrals per year to well over 300! Listen to today’s podcast and learn what you can do to get more referrals without asking. You’ll also hear how to make touches that are memorable and meaningful so that you’re always the top-of-mind choice.
Stacey Brown Randall Listen to today’s show and learn:
  • About Stacey Brown Randall [2:57]
  • What a referral is and what a referral is NOT [9:01]
  • Why Stacey never carries business cards [15:36]
  • How to identify your referral sources [18:32]
  • The four types of referrals sources [25:24]
  • Why referral tracking gets easier over time [38:23]
  • The No. 1 goal when communicating with a referral source [48:09]
  • Inexpensive ways to make memorable, meaningful touches [51:26]
  • How to thank referral sources while planting “referral seeds” [54:14]
  • When to send gifts to referral sources [58:56]
  • The real reason people send you referrals [1:02:37]
  • The five steps for generating referrals without asking [1:09:10]
  • A simple script for getting referrals without asking [1:12:28]
  • How to break through your goals.
  • Plus so much more.
Stacey Brown Randall Stacey Brown Randall has one focus in life. To help business owners avoid business failure. She knows – she’s been there, done that and got the t-shirt. What Stacey learned when her first business failed – and through years of researching successful business owners – is now what is making all the difference with her current business’ success. And she is sharing all of her secrets. Her online programs and live coaching provide a blueprint to follow to take control of your business by increasing sales through “sticky” clients and creating a strategy to unleash a referral explosion in your business. Stacey is a business growth accelerator…with a focus on helping solo-preneurs, micro-small business owners and people on commission make more money and find more time. She is a three-time entrepreneur, certified productivity and time efficiency coach, has a background in sales and marketing, is an adjunct professor, and an aspiring author. Stacey received her Master’s in Organizational Communication. Related Links and Resources: Thanks for Rocking Out Thank you for tuning in to Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars, we appreciate you! To get more Rockstar content sent directly to your device as it becomes available, subscribe on iTunes or StitcherReviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and appreciated! We read each and every one of them, please feel free to leave your email so that we can personally reach out and say thanks! Have any questions? Tweet meFacebook me and ask Pat anything. Don’t forget to head on over to Bare Naked Agent for Pat’s answers, and advice. Thank you Rockstar Nation, and keep rockin!

Pat: Real Estate Rockstars, I am really excited
to interview this guest today, Stacey Brown Randall. One of the things that’s
very cool is that definitely, you describe yourself as a contrarian but also
how to get referrals without asking for them. The first thing that I teach
everybody is you’ve got to ask for the referral, ask for the business. I even
talk about having a conversation versus a purposeful conversation.

I will literally define the difference between a
conversation, and a purposeful conversation is did you ask for the order? When
I read your bio, I’m like, okay, we’ve got to talk to Stacey here because she
changed the whole paradigm of everything that we do on Real Estate Rockstars.
Let’s hear it.

Stacey: Let’s just be really clear that there’s a big difference between asking
for the close, asking for the business, asking them if they want to hire you
versus asking for referrals. I’m with you in terms of hey, sometimes you have
to be willing to ask the person to say yes to doing business with you, asking
for the business. I am still on board with people doing that if your natural
conversation doesn’t bring them to a place where they’re saying, “How
quickly can I hire you?” If they’re not saying that, then definitely
asking for the business. What I don’t want you asking for are for referrals
because that’s entirely different. Having someone put their reputation on the
line and refer you to someone that they know and care about is actually
entirely different from them deciding to hire you for themselves. I think it’s
important to differentiate between the two there as we get started.

Pat: Okay, I like that. All right. Maybe just some background, tell me about
yourself. I’ve read your background but I love to have the guest– Your version
of your background would be better, I would guess.

Stacey: We don’t know. Would it be that I’m going to overinflate it or make it
worse than it actually is now? It’s always interesting when I get that question
because people always say, they’re like, “How are you teaching people what
you teach them? You’re a contrarian
on referrals, you teach him how to get referrals without asking, how in the world
did you land where you landed?” I always say, “It started with a
business failure,” and that is ultimately where it started. The fact that
I get to sit here today and hang out with you and your listeners and talk about
how to generate referrals without asking is truly because of sheer necessity
and the grace of God.

Ultimately, when you look at my backstory, the most
significant thing for me to share is that I started a business and four years
later, just after the four-year mark, it crashed and burned. It did not survive
and make it to that five-year mark that is so coveted for most small business
owners. When I looked back on that business failure, and I’ll tell you, that
business, it was an HR consulting firm, it is completely different than what I’m
doing now. I have a portfolio career of things that I’m actually good at just
based on some companies that I worked for in careers I had prior to becoming an

When you looked back on that company though, it was an
HR consulting firm, big-name clients. You would have assumed from the outside
looking in that this business actually was doing really well when in fact it
wasn’t. It was doing well for a point then it wasn’t but clients like KPMG, one
of the world’s largest accounting firms, Ally Bank, Coca-Cola Bottling
Consolidated, one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the United States,
big-name clients but yet my business had a secret. That was that I never
figured out how to consistently fill the prospect pipeline. I never figured out
how to fill that funnel.

I always used to say, having a conversation with
someone and closing them into saying yes to work with me, not a problem.
Getting that person to talk to, though, that was always my problem. The one
thing that I struggled with is I didn’t figure out with that HR consulting
firm, how to keep that pipeline full. I would get a couple of clients, start
working on a couple of projects, put my head down, do the work, look up when
the projects were done, and be like, “Oh, crap, I don’t have any more
projects, there’s no more clients. Now I’ve got to go back to the hustle
mode.” That pipeline wasn’t consistently staying full.

When the business failed and I had to go get a job
which is the worst thing to do after you’ve been an entrepreneur. It’s like
you’ve tasted freedom and now they’re taking it away from you again. When I
went back to work, I was like, “Okay, how did I feel? What went wrong?
What do I need to do different because I’m going to have another company?”
During that time, I got certified as a business and productivity coach, I
figured out some of the reasons why my business failed. The big one was that
lesson of, you didn’t figure out how to fill the pipeline. I started paying
attention to all the ways other businesses were filling their pipeline.

Some businesses were getting referrals and I was like,
“Yes, give me some of that. That’s what I want. How do I get these
referrals?” When I started my business and productivity coaching practice,
I was like, “Okay, I’m going to get referrals.” I did what everybody
else does. I went looking for the advice on how to do that, and the advice was
the same and it has been the same for decades and decades. It’s what I call
old-school referral triggers. It’s that you want a referral, ask for it, if you
want a referral, pay for it, if you want a referral, be overly promotional and

I just looked at that and I was like, “Yes, but
that doesn’t really fit who I am and I’m not really actually willing to do the
asking and the being overly promotional and gimmicky.” Now, I know in real
estate, you can pay, I used to be a realtor. I know in real estate you can pay,
but still, that’s not the same kickback commission I’m talking about because
those are disclosed upfront and people know that it’s happening. What I was
talking about is the behind-the-scenes, “Hey, if you refer me, I’ll give
you 10% but let’s not tell anybody.”

That’s the kind of stuff that you’re being taught in
addition to, “Here’s 40,000 different asking scripts of how you can take
advantage of this client who actually at this moment likes you, let’s take
advantage of reciprocity.” I’m like, “No, that doesn’t–” I know
it works for some people and if it works for you, I always say, “Go on
with your bad self, I’m so glad the asking works for you,” but if it
doesn’t, there was nothing else out there that gave you a system you could
follow to figure out what it meant to generate referrals.

I didn’t set out to discover it so I could teach it to
other people, I could not have another business failure, I needed my business
to be successful. I figured out some things that worked by literally using my
own business as a guinea pig and figuring out, “Okay, wait, you can get
referrals without asking, you just have to look at it differently and define it

Pat: One of the things that you talked about was really right on the money
for realtors and that’s the real estate cycle and you’re talking about the
cycle of your business. What happens with many, many realtors is that they get
very busy doing their business, and then when they’re done, “Oh, well,
hey, I’ve got three listings, I got two buyers, I’m just so busy right
now,” and they’re not working on their business.

They’re working in their business and then when they
sell the three listings and put a few buyers in houses, then they’re still
around going like, “Okay, now what do I do?”

Stacey: I’ve got no closings for March, right.

Pat: That’s correct. When you talked about the cycle of your business, that
really fits in with the realtor business cycle. Then also, one of the things to
talk about all the time, we talk about with realtors, and I work with owners of
offices and also managers, they have to fill their pipeline as well. It’s like,
“What’s the pipeline look like?” The business you’re doing today is
really a reflection of what you’ve been doing the last three months in terms of
generating the business or a longer tell than that in terms of referrals and
that sort of thing. Love to know the secret of that source for sure.

Stacey: I always tell folks, the first place we need to start to talk about,
how can we use referrals to continually help us fill our pipeline because we
know that’s the name of the game with what we’re doing. When we look at how
we’re going to continually fill that pipeline with referrals, we really need to
back up a step and we really need to make sure we’re defining referrals all the
same because one thing I find is that people define it differently. They just

They define referrals and they use terms like
introductions and referrals interchangeably or word of mouth buzz or word of
mouth referrals which isn’t a thing, but word of mouth buzz, that’s the same
thing as getting a referral and I’m like, “No, it’s not,” or even
right down to a warm lead. They’re like, “Oh yes, I got a warm lead, it
was a referral.” When I ask people to unpack what they actually mean,
those are actually four different terminologies in terms of how we label our
prospects or our leads, there are warm leads, there are word of mouth buzz, there
are introductions, and then there are referrals.

Because we’ve used them and people have used them so
interchangeably over the years, we act like they’re all the same thing which
dilutes the actual definition and power of what a referral ultimately is. I always
tell that a referral has two things, that a warm lead, word of mouth buzz, or
introduction does not have. The first thing is, it’s always going to have a
personal connection. There will always be a personal connection between the
referral source, that’s the person who’s going to refer you, between the
referral source, the prospect, the person who hopefully will hire you, and you,
as the solution provider.

There’s three cast of characters, there’s three
players in this when we look at the referral process. There’s you as the
solution provider, the referral source, who does the connecting to the
prospect, and then, of course, the prospect themselves. Whether that’s a buyer,
or someone needing to list their homes, whatever it is, they’re the prospect.
There’s always going to be a connection between the referral source to that
prospect and you because that is actually where the trust is transferred.

The easiest way I see this confused when we talk about
this first point, the first part of the definition of a referral is somebody
says, “Hey, Paul, actually, somebody told me that they were talking to their
neighbor about me, and they’re totally going to reach out to me, and they told
them all about me, what a great realtor I am. It’s awesome and I can’t wait for
them to reach out to me. I just got a referral.”

I’ll be like, “That is so not a referral. That’s
word-of-mouth buzz, great.” Here’s the thing, I want you having word-of-mouth
buzz, that’s actually important, but the reality of it is that I don’t know who
that neighbor is. Unless I decide to do a drive-by stalker-mode to exactly
figure out who they are, I don’t know who they are. It’s word-of-mouth buzz,
and it’s great, but please don’t call that a referral because it is then
lacking that main piece you need, which is a personal connection.

Now, the second thing a referral has to have is the
need identified, which means I’m having a conversation with you as a prospect
because there’s actually a problem that I know I have and I have made a
decision on some level that maybe it’s time for me to solve it. From that in
mind, I’m now in buyer’s mentality mode, I’m actually showing up quite possibly
looking to sell my home, or to buy a new home. Let’s be honest, if I’m in my
forever home, and I bought it 10 years ago, and I plan to die in this home, I
don’t need to talk to a realtor, probably not until I die, and then it’ll be
probably my children’s issue. It’ll be their mess to deal with.

The reality of it is there has to be a need
identified, there is a personal connection made because that’s where the trust
is transferred, and then there’s a need identified in the prospect. We all know
that someone’s about to buy something and say yes to something, and that’s why
they’re being connected with me as a solution provider.

Pat: I’m taking notes as you can see, I like it. Personal connection, need
identified, and then what?

Stacey: That’s just basically what we look at when we’re just defining
referral. I think that’s an important piece to just understand. Well, hey, when
I say referral, I’m not talking about somebody connected you to somebody over
email, and they made an introduction, and you think it’s a referral, and you go
in guns blazing ready to close this listing because you think you’ve been
referred. In fact, you’ve just been introduced to someone. There’s no need
identified, there’s no buyer’s mentality.

I tell people, the reason why I want you to understand
why the definition of referral matters is so you can identify it when it comes
at you because how you respond should be different to an introduction,
word-of-mouth buzz, or a referral, or even a warm lead. Your reaction and how
you’re going to handle not just the interaction with the person who’s trying to
do the connecting, rather the person who’s trying to get you to have this new
client, but then also, when you actually have a conversation with the prospect,
with that potential new client.

Your reaction changes, your process changes, and you
don’t know what to change if you don’t know what you’ve just received. That’s
why the definition piece is such an important just first step.

Pat: Got it. “Hey, I was at this party, and Stacey, I was just telling them
how great you are. I gave them your number, isn’t that wonderful?” Maybe
there’s a personal connection, where’s the need identified? It’s like, “Oh,
hey, I bumped into a business owner, and you know what? They’re starved for
filling their pipeline, and I told them, hey, Stacey, is the person you need to
talk to.” Now we’ve got the need identified, the personal connection, potential
for a real referral.

Stacey: Yes, because at that point, if they’re having a conversation about me
at a party, they are definitely doing the word-of-mouth buzz thing. They are
definitely identifying that need. That need is there. “Hey, you need to fill
your pipeline, I got the person who can help you fill your pipeline.” To make
it a referral, though, to put me in the driver’s seat to be able to follow up
with them is that I then need them to send an email.

Now, I would say 99% of all referrals that happen with
that personal connection, and that connection is actually made over email about
99%, let’s be honest happen that way. That’s not to say it can’t happen over a
group text thread, and that’s not to say it can’t happen face-to-face. If I
happen to be at that same party and they’re like, “Let me call Stacey over here
and you can meet her,” but I have to be connected. Awesome that someone says,
“I got a problem” and someone else says, “Oh, I know exactly how to solve it.
Stacey can solve it.” That does mean no good if I don’t get connected to that

It’s great that people are saying good things about me
and maybe, just maybe that person’s need to fill their pipeline will be so big.
There’ll be like, “I don’t need you to connect me. I’m calling Stacey right
now.” Maybe it’ll just flip itself into a referral but more than likely, I’ll
need the referral source to say, “Hey, when I get in the car tonight before I
head home, I’m going to connect you and Stacey over email so that you guys can
follow up with each other because she’s definitely who you need to hire.” That
is the ultimate tight lit up with a pretty bow, in terms of what that referral
needs to look like.

Pat: It’s like meeting someone at a party and you’ve made the connection,
you know they have a need, and you’re like, “Oh, hey, let’s exchange information.”
Like, “Oh, let me grab your card.” They take your card, and they’re like, “Oh,
I’ll be in touch. I would never let that go.” I’ll be like, “Okay, no, no, no.
Oh, great, here’s my card but while we’re at it, let me grab your number so
that I can make sure that I can initiate that that contact, make sure that ball
gets rolling.”

Stacey: Yes. It’s actually funny, I don’t carry business cards so that I can
control that situation. I just always say, “Hey–” They’re like, “Hey, let me
have your card.” I’m like, “You know what, I don’t have one on me.” I haven’t
printed business cards in like 10 years but I’m like, “I don’t have one on me
but let me get your card” or “Let me get your information and I’ll follow

Pat: Then it puts the initiating that sales process on your plate, which you
know you’re going to do, or at least get control of for sure.

Stacey: I just want to be in the driver’s seat. It’s the same thing with
referrals. If you talk to someone who has a need about wanting referrals
without asking, and or they say they want referrals, but they don’t want to ask
for them, I want you to also put me in the driver’s seat by connecting me to
them. It’s the same thing when I met a prospect, and they’re like, “Hey, let’s
exchange cards.” I’m like, “Hey, you give me yours.” I want to be in control, I
want to be in the driver’s seat and controlling who gets to take the next step.

Pat: Okay, got it. You’ve defined referrals for me. I’m clear, I’ve got the
definition. Now, what?

Stacey: The big question I always get from realtors, really, it’s anybody, but
specific with the realtors who are in my community or have gone through my
program. The big question always is, “How do I get more? How do I get more
referrals and more referral sources?” I always say, “Okay, timeout. Hold on for
a minute. What we first have to do is actually look at the data your business
is already holding on to, to discover what it looks like from a referral
perspective for you. Ultimately, what I want you to be after is understanding
what’s already existing in your business.”

A lot of people come in, and they’re like, “Hey, I
need more referrals” or “I need more referral sources. I need more people
sending me more referrals.” I’m like, “Well, are you sure? Do we actually know
if that’s the case, because what we need to pay attention to is not only your
capacity for how many clients can you work– How many listings and buyers can
you handle in a year, depending on your team size? What’s your capacity?” Then,
“What have you received in the past? Do you even have any referral sources
because that’s going to dictate if we can get more from your existing body of
referral sources, versus you needing to learn how to turn more people into
referral sources?”

I take everybody through a process. It’s one I
outlined in chapter eight of my book as well because I just feel like it’s one
of the most important steps because if you won’t get through this step, it
doesn’t really matter what else I’m going to teach you. It’s not going to work
because you haven’t done the identification, which is, who are your referral
sources? I tell everybody, “Hey–” This is realtor-specific. I would say sit
down with your list of the last two to three years of your buyers and sellers.
Who have been your clients? Now, if you’ve been in business 10 or 15 years–
Let’s go back more than two years, maybe four years back.

If you’ve only been in business a year, well, it just
is what it is, you can go back as far as you possibly can. This is a really
hard exercise for newbies to do. I usually say don’t do it, but the reality is
that look back in your business at who your buyers and sellers have been, make
a list of them, and then figure out how they first heard about you.

Now, if you have a CRM, some type of client
relationship management tool, hopefully, you’ve been tracking this information.
You got Bobby because you farmed the neighborhood, and he responded to a
postcard you sent, or you happened to land Sally as a client because she’s been
in a networking group with you for the last 10 years and was finally ready to
sell her home or finally ready to buy a new home or whatever it is.

You go through and you map out, here’s all my clients
for the last three years– I’ll just use three as my example. Here’s all my
clients for the last three years, and here’s where they first heard about me or
how they learned about me. What you’re going to have is a list of different
types of sources for where these clients came from. They may be the farming
that you do, it may be these direct mail pieces that you do, it may be social
media that you do if you do any social-media ads. It could be if you do any
speaking engagements, it’s anything and everything, including referrals.

As you’re writing this list of clients, you’re going
to be like, “Oh, I met Paul because he was referred to me by his neighbor,
Sarah.” You’re going to have this information. What you would then do once you
have this data, and here’s the thing, this takes work. That’s why lots of
people don’t get past this step. There’s no magic bullet. There’s no magic wand
I can hand you and be like, “Poof, here are all your referrals that you’re
going to need every year from now until eternity.” I’m sorry it doesn’t
work that way. You have to be willing to do some work and this is-

Pat: I think that it’s– I really appreciate you saying, “Hey, there’s
a part of this that there’s a magic bullet or whatever but there’s a part of
this you’ve got to roll up your sleeves on. I’ve got to tell you, you said this
is hard work, I believe this is not hard work, however, we need folks to
understand what to do and how to do it. If you say to me, “You’ve got to
identify your referral sources or whatever,” now that sounds to me like
hard work. Get your list from years ago and right, but the process of it, not
so bad. One of the things too as I find that a lot of realtors at least in my
area where the price point is so high, we have a different–

We’re talking to a national audience, but where our
price point is so high out here in Los Angeles, the West Coast, we have a lot
more haphazard folks making a decent living even if they don’t have a CRM. Now,
obviously, you have a CRM, I get it, and then a lot of people are just going to
be in between. They’re doing a really good business. They really want to take
their business to the next level.

What you’re saying is, go through your past clients.
I’ll share a stat with you that I say all the time. I might miss the numbers by
a few digits, but it’s easy to find out, and it’s National Association of
Realtors. It’s a third-party unbiased group. They go out, and they do these
surveys of people after they buy a home and they ask a whole list of questions.

The last question they ask is, would you use this
person– Did you like this person enough to use them for your next transaction?
An amazingly high number of people say yes. I’m going to say 86%, it’s in the
mid to high 80s say yes. Then they go back and follow it on how many have
actually used that realtor for their next transaction. The number falls into
the low teens, we’re looking at 12% to 14%.

One of the things that’s missing in that equation is
just client tracking. In order to do Stacey’s Chapter 8 piece of work, you
also– This is great for your business and that is if you’re doing business in
a real haphazard way. Get a simple CRM, track all of your past clients and the
past clients are going to lead to future sales for sure but are also going to
identify a fabulous referral source.

Now, Stacey, you’re asking that– Okay, well, geez,
let me see. I sold a house three years ago to AJ and to be truthful, the way I
got that business is I’m friends with AJ’s dad, we do business together. That’s
it, that’s how I got it. Now, one of the things– I want to do a couple of
things. One thing is, I want AJ’s dad to refer more clients to me like his son.
Obviously, he trusts the relation to be sending his son to me, he should send
more people to me but he doesn’t.

Then the other one is, I want AJ to refer me because I
did a good job for AJ. Now, I have actually very high trust with both of them.
Neither of them are really sending me any referrals. That’s a familiar problem.

Stacey: Here’s the reality. Let’s focus first on getting AJ’s dad. Let’s just
call him Tom for the sake of argument.

Pat: Steve.

Stacey: What is it?

Pat: Steve.

Stacey: Steve, okay, we’ll call him Steve. Here’s the thing, this is two
different things and we have to look at this in two different ways. The process
is really similar of how we’re going to turn AJ into a referral source and how
we’re going to cultivate more referrals out of Steve, AJ’s dad, but we have to
start by looking at them separate.

A couple of things to consider. I always tell folks,
if you don’t have a CRM and you have to go back and do this little process I
call walk down memory lane, that’s where it feels like work because the CRM,
you push a button, boop, there’s all my clients and all the sources because if
I put in the names of the people who referred me, I can have my list. If you
have to do a walk down memory lane, you still have to sit down with the same
list of clients and you have to look back and maybe you have some buried in
your sent folder or your deleted folder that you never delete of your emails,
some email thread of how they first came to be. You’re just looking for the last
email you sent.

Maybe you’re going to look in your calendar invite
because you put in some notes that you took. Maybe you have a folder on them
and whether it’s a digital folder or a printed old school folder and you took
some notes in that very first meeting of how they heard about you. Maybe you
just remember, but you do have to walk down memory lane and you have to sit
down, you have to identify where all these clients that I have is the best of
my ability.

You won’t get 100% and that’s okay especially if
you’re not tracking. Where did these people come from? Then, we’re going to
eliminate everybody who didn’t come through a referral source. Then we’re going
to look at these referral sources and we’re going to identify some things about
them. This is where the part about Steve comes into play. First of all, there
are four different kinds of referral sources. We have to understand what the
four are because how we engage with them is different.

I’m going to use the Steve AJ scenario in a couple of
different ways to show a couple of examples of what this looks like. Number one
is the number one type of referral source you can have, of course, is your
clients. Now, I work in some industries, like in the legal profession, I have
some attorneys that are my program, you’re not going after their clients, they
do criminal law, they’re not trying to get their clients to refer them. They
do, they’re not trying to get referrals from them.

For most of us, we can get referrals from our clients,
and for a lot of realtors, they’re actual number one referral source of the
four types. There’s clients. The second one is centers of influence. Those are
people who know what you do, don’t do what you do, there’s no competitive
overlap, but they come across your ideal client. Maybe it is a mortgage broker,
maybe it is somebody else in the industry that’s referring people to you,
whatever it looks like from your perspective.

You’re going to have clients and centers of influence.
Those are actually our top two referral source types but there’s two more.
There are strangers and there are family and friends. Let me use this as an
example. Let’s say Steve was a client and he referred his son AJ. That puts
Steve in the client bucket and I’m thinking to myself, easier job to turn Steve
into a referral source. I know he referred me to AJ but now I want more to
truly turn into an ongoing referral source.

If Steve happens to be in the family and friends
bucket, that means that we’re somehow related or buddies with Steve, and the
only person he’s ever referred is AJ. When I really think about it, I’m like,
“Yes, no, Steve’s not really built to refer me anybody else. That’s really
not how Steve’s built.” He’s in the family and friends category. I always
tell folks, when you go through the family and friends category, you get to
decide if they have the potential to refer you more.

If your aunt referred you her best friend to sell
their house but your aunt is a hermit and never leaves her house but knew her
neighbor because it was her best friend and they were selling their house,
great, let’s just assume your aunt may never refer you again and you don’t need
to build a referral generating plan that’s going to include your aunt as one of
your referral sources because probably never going to refer you again.

Let’s talk about strangers. Stangers happen because
sometimes the longer you’ve been in business, your reputation will precede you
and you will– Hopefully, it’s positive that you will have a good reputation
out there in the marketplace and people will have heard about you or heard of
people who used you. You don’t know them, that’s because by definition they’re
a stranger, but they feel confident enough in you which is crazy because they
don’t even really know you but they’ve decided that they like you and trust you
and they’ll refer you to someone.

If you can figure out who that stranger is, then you
can decide, “Can I cultivate that person into a referral source and turn
him into a COI who will refer me or, truly, can I never really get a hold of
them? I can’t seem to get a meeting with them. I can’t seem to start building a
relationship with them.” It was a great referral one and done from that
stranger. Whereas there are four types of referral sources, there is, of
course, client centers of influence, strangers, and family and friends, we’re
only going to build a plan to cultivate more referrals from the Steves of the
world if they’re a client or a center of influence.

We’ll decide if a family or friend or a stranger gets
to move up to one of those two levels, but a lot of times they just are what
they are, and yay, it’s extra gravy and that’s wonderful, but we can’t build a
system and a process around strangers and family and friends if they don’t have
the propensity to continue to refer.

Pat: I’ve got my list, I’ve got clients centers of influence, and then I’ve
drawn a line across my piece of paper and below that are strangers and friends
and family and of those last two– See, I’m not a bad student, right?

Stacey: You’re great.

Pat: Of the last two categories, I’m going to decision tree them, like, yes
or no, is it a won and done or they
really have potential to do more?

Stacey: Right, and you’re just going to trust your gut because you don’t really
know. You can err on the side of caution and move them up to the center of
influence line if you want because ultimately, they’re not a client, they’re
going to make it into the COI bucket and see what happens. Do you know, your
gut speaks and you just need to listen to it.

Pat: I think you gave some hints into that too. It’s like, “Hey, my
aunt gave me this referral, she’s like, oh, she just thinks I’m great, she delivered
it on a silver platter, all good, but she’s a hermit. Therefore–” Or,
“Somebody else gave me a referral, might not have even been as strong a
referral but wow, they’re in an industry. They’re in the entertainment
industry. They’re an agent from CAA down the road and they have huge potential.

Stacey: Yes. To your point, decision tree it out and make the decision on what
you think could potentially or possibly happen. We don’t evaluate our success
until we’ve actually put them through the paces for an entire year to see what
will ultimately come out of it.

Pat: One year.

Stacey: Absolutely. To your point, yes. What you just did is identified who has
the potential to refer you. Who’s done it once or twice, but we don’t really
know if we can get more out of them. You just looked at them and identified
them like, very well connected, knows a lot of people. Okay, we’re going to
move them on over, hermit crab, not going to move them on over.

Pat: Got it.

Pat: You mentioned referral generating plan. How do we get these? Now, I’ve
got my buckets. One of the things I’ll just highlight in my experience, and you
can tell me more about it is we really statistically have evaluated how
important former clients are. In the real estate space, I have it
statistically, I have it for every 12 people in my database. It’s down to like

For every 12.1 people in my database, I’m looking for
two sales. The two sales will be, one, for them when they eventually go to sell
their own house again, and one referral. That’s the statistical measure. Now,
some former clients, of course, refer a bunch and some refer none, but that’s
how significant former clients are. I look at them as two potential sales in my
pipeline. One is theirs, one is a referral.

One of the things that you mentioned that I think
folks don’t look at as much is a center of influence. I look at that really
important piece that you said, a non-competitor. If you’re going to run around
and hang out with realtors all day, I’m sorry. It’s like CPAs hanging out with
CPAs. How are you going to get clients? I’m a CPA, let’s go to a networking
event and I’ll sit around with a bunch of CPAs. That’s not going to make a lot
of sense. You could get a few, maybe, but centers of influence being people who
are outside of your industry. Now, interestingly, you mentioned mortgage, which
is a very obvious one for realtors. The issue with that is that mortgage folks
are looking for the business as hard or harder than you.

For my center of influence, for example, it goes into
friends and family also. My dentist is my nephew. He’s a fabulous referral
source. He touches lots and lots and lots of people who has a high-end practice
or in a high-end area that may need to buy or sell. I would take them out of the
friends and family category, for sure, put them in the center of influence.
He’s in a business, day-to-day, he’s seeing 20 patients or 15 patients and
every one of these is a potential client for me. That’s a great center of
influence thing. You’re going to tell me how I get my nephew because he wants
to refer them, but how do I get him to really work for me?

Stacey: Here’s the thing. Once we’ve identified the who, once we know who has
referred us in the past– We’re focusing on this from Steve’s perspective,
right? We haven’t gotten to AJ yet about getting AJ to start referring us. I
will tell you though, so much of it comes that if your referral sources are
previous clients, your ability to stay top of mind is huge, for them to even
remember your name. You think you work so close with your realtor and you do.
My husband and I recently sold our house. Now, we’re living in an apartment
while we’re trying to find home number two. Then the market stinks right now
where we are. There’s nothing in our price point that we’re looking for. The
reality is we know our realtor-

Pat: You have a need, I’m going to create a fix for that need, but carry on.

Stacey: Perfect. That sounds wonderful. Though, I actually like living in an
apartment. Do you know how much easier it is? It’s just so much easier. Anyway,
we’re off-topic.

Pat: What about by the drape behind you, but carry on.

Stacey: I know. This is what happens when they do construction at your office
and you’re forced into the home apartment. The idea that when I think about
when I am looking at my referral sources and I know some of them can be
clients, I’m going to address this only for the referral generating plan, is
that you think as a realtor, you spend so much time with that person in their
home, them in your car, driving them around, or meeting them at houses. You
think they’ll never forget your name. They will, it may take two years, but at
two years of you not communicating with them, unless they’re buddies like we
are with our realtor, they are not going to remember your name.

I remember the very first condo I purchased. I was way
too young to be purchasing anything. I don’t know how my parents even agreed to
help me. I was like 22, 23 years old, bought my first condo. My realtor was
like my mama through that entire process. She followed up every year until
about the third or fourth year. Now, I don’t know. She may have passed away.
I’m not really quite sure what happened. She may have got out of the business,
whatever, but I couldn’t tell you her name. I can tell you what company she was
with, but I couldn’t tell you her name and I loved this woman. She was so
helpful. She helped me navigate some pretty significant issues that we had with
the sellers we were dealing with as a 22-year-old, who didn’t know what the
heck they were doing.

Pat: Got it. Right.

Stacey: That is a big part of your ability to turn clients into referral
sources. The other thing to note is I tell folks, particularly students in my
program, “Stop worrying about all your clients and focus on the 30% that
probably will refer you. It’s probably higher than that, but let’s just take it
down a notch and focus on the 30% that are actually the type, that are
well-connected and that would be willing to refer you and have said they’ve had
a great opportunity or a great experience working with you. Let’s find the
commonalities to identify that 30% and start there.” Once we know who our
referral sources are, then we need to actually go through the process of
getting referrals or more referrals from them.

Pat: All right. I am following very closely. I’ve done the work now. I’ve
got my list. Maybe I had no CRM, I guess it doesn’t matter. We could use a
notepad if we had to, or whatever it is. I’ve gone down my list, I go,
“Okay, you know what, Stacey, I’ve been in the business for seven years
but the last five years have been really active. I pulled the list of every
house I sold for the last five years. I’ve got all the names of the families.
I’ve got where’d I get the leads from those.” That’s my who?

Stacey: That’s your who. Seriously, that’s your who. Now, we have to go through
and we have to look at this a little bit closer. It’s one of the things I tell
my students, there’s a big difference between active and inactive referral
sources. Somebody who referred you more than two years ago, and hasn’t referred
you since is probably inactive. Doesn’t mean they can’t be turned back to
active, but we do have to pay attention to their status, so to speak. The other
thing I would tell you is, you and I look at this and we say to ourselves,
“This is work, but it’s a process you should be doing. You should be doing
it every year on your business. It’s something you should know the data and the
stats behind your business.”

Here’s my promise, though, for any realtor that’s
listening, that says, “Okay, fine. I’ll go look at the last five years of
my business and I’ll sit down with my yellow pad because I don’t have a CRM.
I’ll correct that mistake in a minute.” My first mistake I’m going to do
is I’m going to do this walk down memory lane and handwrite out everybody and
look through my calendar and my phone, trying to figure out where these people
came from.

Here’s my promise to you. If you do this once, and you
do it correctly, this is the step of my process you never do again because then
you’re going to start tracking referrals as they come in. You’re always going
to know who your referral sources are, from this point moving forward, because
you’re tracking them as you receive them and now, you know who’s been referring
you in the past because you went through this process that felt like work
because it was, but if you do it right. you don’t have to do it again.

Pat: All right. Now, in my AJ and Steve example, Steve only referred me that
one client, that’s his son, but I’m going to tell you, that tells me that he
really trusts me and he is really willing. He’s not active because that’s the
only referral I’ve had. Now, Steve– These are real facts, okay. Steve is a
lawyer with a giant practice. He is right at the epicenter of what I would run
out and look for to create a new center of influence person and he’s already
referred me someone, not just someone, his son. I know he trusts me. I know,
he’s got a lot of contact with the public, but he hasn’t sent me a referral in
three years. Okay, that’s one– Sorry, that’s one point.

The other thing is I need you to tell me why am I
looking at Steve because I just sold AJ his house and he just thinks I’m
wonderful and that was not that long ago. Why am I not? What’s my process? I
need to know my process for AJ because when I go through it, it’s what I do. I
want to know and learn different today. I go through all my past clients and
go, these are my referral sources. Tell me about sorry– How do I get Steve who
really knows, likes, and trusts me and is willing to refer but just hasn’t
anymore and what do I do with AJ, but maybe I skipped a few steps ahead?

Stacey: Well, you’re just trying to jump ahead because you know we need both. At
the end of the day, there are two processes you have to learn. They’re similar,
but they are different, and you want them operating on parallel tracks. You
know what happens when you try to learn two things at one time you try to
implement two things at one time? Nothing.

Pat: Stacey also runs a podcast. What Stacey is also saying, she has secret
message. Do you know what happens when you ask two questions at one time? Don’t
do it. Ask one question.

Stacey: I’m going to answer them both. That I promise. I’m just going to go
with one first and then come back to the next. The truth is when we try to put
two processes in place in our business while we’re running our business, we
don’t make any progress. We do inches, we don’t do miles of progress and we need
miles of progress. We’re going to pick one. What I have found, even though you
were dying for AJ to become a new referral source, it is easier for you to pick
up traction and motivation if I can actually take existing referral sources and
get you more referrals from them and that will help bleed over into your
willingness to do the work now than to turn AJ into a referral source.

Now, here’s the thing, I am making some pretty clear
assumptions about your business and that’s really important. Number one is I’m
assuming you do good work, and you are actually referable. Nobody refers crappy
work, and nobody refers choppy work, I’m assuming you do good work. That’s why
Steve referred his son in the first place. That’s my expectation. If you have
referral sources, and you’ve been in business a couple of years at least, and
you have referrals, that you were doing great work. That’s really important.

The other thing I’m assuming at this moment is that
you actually have a client experience that extends beyond the active or working
with you stage. The way I teach client experience, I’m going slightly off, but
I’m going to come back, don’t worry. The way I teach client experience is, when
a client says yes to working with you, that is when their client experience
begins. It starts with them in the new phase and then eventually, they move to
what we would call the ongoing or active phase, and then when that house has
been purchased or sold, then they become an alumni client.

You better have a way to make sure that you are
keeping in touch, and this is the only time I say keeping in touch. That you
are keeping in touch with those clients in the alumni stage because it helps
you identify that, hey, I want AJ to be a referral source but there’s something
humming along over here already happening. While we’re working to figure out,
now, how do I turn AJ into a referral source? Well, at least he’s– I don’t
mean the market report emails that you can send out and I actually don’t mean
the super fancy magazines that you can send out because those are laden with
sales messaging.

What I’m talking about is client touchpoints that
build relationship from a client who’s done working with you consistently. It’s
like the daylight savings time reminder of postcards, that’s the kind of stuff
I’m talking about, and don’t you dare put a message on that says, “I’m
ready to help you with your home buying needs.” We know that. That’s why
you’re sending us this message. I don’t need that.

I’m assuming you do great work and I’m assuming you
have a client experience that extends past the work being done. Now, the answer
to your question though, I’m assuming those two things as I’m about to teach
you how you create a referral generating plan. Once we have our list of
Steve’s, the people who have referred us in the past, and we have that list,
what we need to do is ultimately impact how they feel about us.

Pat: Can I-

Stacey: How we- What?

Pat: I want to ask a question. I’m sorry, just because I’m afraid I’m going
to miss this. It might even be a tiny point. I know you’re getting into
something really important and great. Every one of our listeners, including me,
everyone in our community, including me, I love your client touchpoint. I get
it, newsletter. That’s BS. Do I recommend that people send newsletters out? My
answer is yes, I do, but you and I both know that newsletter is different than
something that’s actually useful. Now you’re saying, daylight savings. That’s a
client touchpoint because I’m the type of person, I might forget to change my
clock. Wow, Stacey, it was helpful. I appreciate that.

You said, “Don’t you dare ask for the sale on
that” and that’s contrarian because, I’m going to say most of my
community, including me, I’m going to take the time and effort to think about
you and I’m going to send you that daylight saving thing or I might send
something even more specific to you. I know you’ve got three kids. I know that
you’ve got one kid that’s transitioning from maybe middle school to high school
who’s a girl. I have a phenomenal book for you. For real, I do. You got to read
this book.

Stacey: Except for my daughter’s not transitioning yet to high school, stop
making me older.

Pat: Okay, sorry. [chuckles]

Stacey: She’s still in elementary school. [laughs]

Pat: Okay, sorry. I got that, and again, I’m sorry but this is a great,
phenomenal human touch. I care a lot about my clients, I do this sort of thing.
You’re telling me when I hand you that book or the little note that I stick in
that book, at the bottom, it doesn’t say like, “Hey, Stacy, remember me
for referrals or business?”

Stacey: No, it doesn’t need to. Because of the old-school referral triggers and
old-school ways that we’ve just been taught for so long, and trying to get the
buyers’ attention or trying to get the clients’ attention, that’s why we’ve
been told we need to do those things.

Let me be honest, if you remember that I have a child
transition– I just feel the need to say this as a very vain female. I don’t
have any kids transitioning into high school. We just started Middle School and
we’re still in elementary school with my children but regardless, if you
remembered that I have a child transitioning at this point, you sold my house
two years ago, and you remembered because you’ve been tracking it now, you know
my children’s ages because it’s in your CRM.

You know that my daughter has my son has reached the
age to transition into high school and you send me a book, I am going to love
and remember you forever and don’t worry, I will remember that you were that
wonderful agent that I worked with, that actually became a part of my family’s
life story. Please don’t think you have to remind me of what you do. Can your
name and your logo be on it that clearly says real estate? Of course, but what
I’m saying is, we have to stop always feeling like we have to remind people of
what we do. If the moments we do are so monumental that they have impact in
their life.

You’re sending me an E-newsletter, and I don’t care.
You can definitely send me these newsletter about the market report and put on
there, I’m always available. I hate that, but fine, if you want to do it, do
it. Nobody’s reading it. Nobody cares. I know we think they do. They don’t, but
if you want to keep in touch that way, that’s fine but if you’re doing things
that keep you connected to your clients in a way like that, well, then you’re
already lightyears ahead of a lot of people who are figuring out. What we’re
really talking about right here is the client experience, not even their
referral experience. You doing that book, trust me, I’m not going to forget,
I’m going to remember.

When I’m talking to my friend over drinks one night,
and she says, “My gosh, we have got to get a bigger house. We have all
these children, and they’re just so loud. Don’t you think I’ll be like,
“Oh, you cannot use any other realtor but this one?” Of course,
that’s going to happen. It’s a trust thing you have to build up and understand.
We feel like if we say it on there, it’s going to make people remember it more
and in fact, what it does, particularly on the referral side– I’ll give you
some passes on the client-side, but it cheapens the message. It actually
cheapens the gift when you make it about a sales pitch.

Let’s transition to the referral side because this is
where I’m adamant about this. I will give you some leeway on the client
experience side. I was a realtor for a couple of years. I definitely know the
world that you guys live in. I did it before the ’08 recession, though, where
you basically just turned on your website, and leads poured in. It was a little
bit different. I still worked for the clients that I had, and I still work to
get them but the reality of it is if we look at this from the referral
perspective, when I’m doing marketing and prospecting, I’m trying to talk to
the end-user, the buyer. I’m trying to

talk to the home buyer, the home seller if I’m doing
prospecting and marketing activities. I’m farming a neighborhood, or I was
doing Facebook ads or I’m trying to get publicity in my local paper about real
estate needs, that is all prospecting and marketing activities.

When we switch over here to our referral side and we
start dealing with your referral sources, you’re not talking to the end-user,
you’re not communicating, you’re not building a relationship, you’re not
building trust with the buyer. They may have been a previous buyer because
they’re a client but they’re not a buyer right now, they’re not a client right
now, they’re a referral source.

Your number one goal is to impact how they feel about
you. How they feel about you is done by having a referral-generating plan,
which is a series of what we call touchpoints, but you can think of them as
just outreach to your referral sources that you do, that allows you to be
memorable and meaningful. We call it minding your M&Ms, memorable and
meaningful, and allows you to stay top of mind. If I am going to put my
reputation on the line and refer you someone that I know, it’s going to be
because I trust you and I like you, and I know that you care about me and I’m
not just a number to you from the previous– Like, how much commission you made
on me as I was a client, and it’s not just about the number of referrals I
send, but you come from a place of ultimate gratitude. We’re getting back to
business human basics here. We come from a place of gratitude. We come from a
place of genuineness, of being authentic.

If you care about your referral sources because they
drop clients into your lap and make your life easier, then if you feel that
way, this is really easy. This will not work for you if you were dead inside.
Let me just go ahead and put that disclaimer out there. A referral-generating
plan is a series of, typically, four to eight touchpoints. What you do depends
on how many you have to do throughout the course of the year, that is memorable
and meaningful. Here’s what’s not memorable and meaningful to a referral
source, your email newsletter, jacuzzi with your logo on it. That call and it
happens like clockwork every 62 days because your CRM reminded you that you
hadn’t reached out to me in 62 days. We have the same conversation or the same
text thread exchange, “How are you? How’s business?” Please know I
can see right through that. I know why you’re reaching out, unless you have a
purpose for reaching out, like, “Hey, I heard your daughter got
married.” Very different makes an impact. What we have to be is memorable
and meaningful.

Let me give you a very distinct example that I know
everyone can picture in their mind’s eye. Now here’s the thing, I’m giving you
an example of a gift you can send. It is one of many things you can do. Lots of
people don’t have the money to send gifts, so don’t send gifts. What I teach
the students in my program is, there’s actually a number of categories of
things you can do and most of them don’t cost you any money. They may take some
of your time but they won’t cost you any money.

Just so I know everyone can picture this, imagine that
you identified your top referral sources. Let’s just say you have enough of
them that you actually have some levels, that’d be one of the things I would
teach you. You’re having some levels of them and you’re looking at your top
referral sources. One thing you realized about them is that actually, 80% of
them are not only business owners but they’re also parents. That just happens
to be what mine look like, so business owners who are also parents.

Something that’s memorable and meaningful that you
wouldn’t expect from me, because at this point, it’s if I’m your business and
productivity coach, or I’m the person who teaches you how to get referrals,
maybe, you would expect it, if I’m the person who teaches you how to get referrals.
The idea here is that I know that my top referral sources, 80% of them are
parents, so I’m going to recognize Mother’s Day and Father’s Day because why
would I expect to hear from my realtor on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day? Let me
be honest, I know I’m going to hear from you at Thanksgiving or Christmas
because we all do it, but Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, that’s memorable,
that’s meaningful to go next step.

What I sent to all of my female mothers that were my
top referral sources was a Wonder Woman water bottle. Guess what I did? I
resisted the urge to slap my logo on it. I just sent it as a gift, it was a
Wonder Woman water bottle. Do you think in the two or three years after sending
that gift they ever forgot who gave them a Wonder Woman water bottle, who
reminded them on Mother’s day, “Hey, I see you and never forget you are a
hero?” This life is hard trying to be a mom and everything else that we
are in life. The idea there is is that that was memorable and meaningful. When
we’re memorable and meaningful, that moves us to the top of mind and that
allows us to always be remembered. That allows us to know, “Wow, Stacey
cares about me,” and it wasn’t about because there was no sales message on
it, about getting another deal, but they naturally think of you in that way.

Here’s the secret piece, and I call it the secret
sauce. It’s then the language you use, what we call planting referral seeds
when you’re doing this outreach when you have your referral-generating plan in
place, and you’ve mapped out your touchpoints for the course of the year. I
want you to do it every year after that. You’ve mapped out your touchpoints for
the course of the year and you’re like, “Okay, this is what I’m going to
do. This is how I’m going to be memorable and meaningful. This is going to keep
me top of mind. To get referrals from those touchpoints, we need to move into
the subconsciousness of our referral sources by planting referral seeds and
that’s the language piece.

The easiest example I can give you is, what do you write
in a thank-you card to someone who just referred you? What do you write to
Steve after he refers you AJ? Now, the reality is this, what I teach my
students is, the way you write a card to someone who referred your family
actually looks a little bit different than the example I’m about to give you.
Basically, what you’re going to say in this card is, “Thank you for
referring me to your son, AJ. It’s an honor to help the people you know and
care about. If I can do anything for you, or if I can ever do anything for you,
please let me know.”

Now, it’s three simple sentences. Lots of people have
issues with the last one, so I don’t care if you don’t put it in there or not,
but it’s “Thank you for referring me to your son, AJ, and it is an honor
and a privilege” or “it is a privilege, it’s an honor to help the
people you know and care about.” That language alone is planting referral
seeds and getting them to remember what they did and that you are thankful for
their referrals. You don’t ever say, “Can you send me 10 more? That would
be great.” You do not make that type of language in there. People have
forgotten how easy it is for us to be memorable and meaningful, and use this
planting of referral seed language because nobody’s doing it.

Pat: I’m really paying attention, I’m writing this all down. I got the first
two lines and then the third one, you said was a little controversial. Maybe
give me the third one again so I can write it.

Stacey: Yes, if there is anything I can ever do for you, please let me know. [crosstalk]

Pat: I like it.

Stacey: I like it, too. Some people are like, “That’s just not what I
would say if I was writing this thank you note to someone I’ve known for 10
years.” Okay, then change it. Tell them to have a great year. Tell them
you’ll see them next week , whatever it is, I don’t care. It’s the two first
sentences that I care most about.

Pat: I think if a very close friend of mine, that’s where the third sentence
would be a little less natural but a very, very close friend of mine sent me a
referral, I still think the third sentence is a measure of gratitude. They
already know. I’ll give you an example. One of my best friends, he would ask me
for anything, I would do it, vice versa.

I still think even with that guy, who’s the last guy I
would send this to, I would still send it to him because it’s still a measure
of, “Hey, you know what? That was extra special. It’s important to me.
This is my business. This is my livelihood and you sent me someone. I know you
like me. I know you trust me. You took that extra step, you sent me Sarah.
Sarah was an amazing client. It’s an extra step of gratitude.”

Stacey: Yes, and here’s the thing I would also say. You’re going to send that
note even if Sarah doesn’t become a client because you’re going to send that
long before you ever know the outcome. Your referral-generating plan, even if
Steve sends you a few more referrals and they don’t turn into clients– Now, I
will teach you in my program how we change the quality and how we close our
referrals better.

The reality of that is is that we don’t actually thank
people and they’re not a part of our referral-generating plan based on outcome.
It is actually based on the idea that they are willing to refer you and that is
what we’re thankful for. Of course, we can use language to change the type of
referrals we receive and that kind of stuff, that’s not a problem. You can
learn that stuff later but right now, it’s more important to understand that,
“Hey, when you get a referral, this is the language you use.”

We plant referral seeds in so many different places
and people don’t even pay attention to it. That’s why [chuckles] I always tell
folks, I was like, “Some people get [chuckles] in–” This is funny
but I hear people get in my program they’re like, “There are so many
messaging and scripts and things that we can use.” I’m like, “Yes,
because there are so many opportunities to plant referral seeds. You can plant
them while you’re networking when someone says, “How’s business?” You
can plant it with those touchpoints. You’re going to do as per your
referral-generating plan to your referral sources. You don’t need to do the
language every time but out of those touchpoints, you should. You can do it
when you’re writing a thank-you note. You can do it while someone’s in the
buyer’s journey.

You could have planted it with AJ through the process
of saying, “Yes, I’m working with you or working with you.” Planting
referral seeds is like this universal language, I think, that people need to
understand but you do it in a way that doesn’t feel it’s forced. When it comes
from a place of gratitude and thankfulness, and I’m taking care of my referral
sources because they take care of me, that does not go unnoticed. It never
feels forced and it comes from the right place.

Pat: Now, if I have a referral source, let’s say, Steve, obviously trusts me
a lot. He sent me his son, that’s great. Do you ever go so far as, Steve sends
me another high net-worth client, I send him the thank-you note, as soon as I
get the referral. That particular referral turns into a big sale and a big
commission. Post-closing, do I send them some massive gift, or what do I do

Stacey: That is such a good question. It’s asked a lot, and it’s a delicate
question. It is asked about, “I made a ton of money off that referral,
should I do something for that person?” Right down to the “This is
the third referral they sent me, should I send a gift card with my thank-you
note?” It doesn’t matter the magnitude. It’s the same type of question. I
always say, it completely depends and it’s what you’re comfortable doing.

If you think it’s going to set a precedent, then don’t
do it because ultimately, here we’re not trying to make someone feel like,
“Hey, if you refer me, you get a really big present.” If I have a
referral-generating plan in place– Here’s the thing I want people to think
about. Every time Steve refers me, I’m going to send a handwritten thank-you
card, but because Steve is on my referral source list, I’ve got this
referral-generating plan where I am staying top of mind and touching him
throughout the year and almost like it’s in between receiving referrals. It
doesn’t show up because a referral happened, it’s because I have these
touchpoints planned out for the entire year, and I’m executing on that.

What Steve starts to get the sense of is that,
“Oh, it’s not just I get thanked when I send a referral, but he takes care
of me all year long. Of course, every time I send a referral, he takes the time
to sit down and think about me and write a thank-you note, and then send it to
me,” which, let’s be honest, those thank-you notes usually mean the most
because they took your time. They’re sometimes more valuable than the money you

Again, if you got a huge deal, and you want to thank
the person and you want to take him out to dinner or take him to the spa or do
whatever you want to do, you can do it. If you think it’s going to set a precedent–
And here’s the thing, they don’t always think it’s a precedent, we feel it’s a
precedent. It’s in our mind.

If we feel that’s the thing we’re going to find
ourselves in, then I say, “Don’t do it.” At the ultimate point then,
the idea there is that it’s not really about the, “Hey, you sent me a
referral, so now I’m going to give you a present.” If I’m taking care of
you throughout the year, I don’t feel I need to do that. I can, if I want to,
but I don’t need to.

Pat: Got it. One lesson I learned along the way and it’s a woman named Kara,
who was a very high-end realtor that has very high-end clients. She became an
office manager and owner with me. One of the things she used to do was she
would send a handwritten note and she would put a $5 Starbucks card in it. I’m
talking about to high net-worth individuals. What I said was, “Wow, I
would never send a high net-worth client a $5 Starbucks card.”

She just laughed at me and she goes, “You know
what? I’ve only been doing it for the last 10 years because that’s when I
figured out how much it works.” You would be surprised, she would’ve been
doing it 15 years or whatever, how much they loved getting it. They appreciate
it. They take that $5 Starbucks card, stick in their wallet, and next time they
go through, “I got a coffee on Paul or Stacey or Kara.”

Stacey: Starbucks makes it really fun now that you can actually send it. If
they have the mobile app, you can send the gift card to their app.

Pat: There you go.

Stacey: It makes it even easier for them to use it. That’s what I mean. People
always feel when you’ve given me X, then my Y has to match your X. That’s then
saying that “I’m only referring you because I think I’m going to get the
fanciest most expensive bottle of wine out of you after you’ve done it.”
What ultimately our referral sources want, it’s the surprise factor. It’s the,
“Wow, you didn’t have to send me that for any reason, but I appreciate the
fact that you remembered that last year I sent you four referrals and that you
did X, Y, Z.” It was part of your touchpoint and you were going to do it

Remember, people don’t refer you because they’re
trying to grow your business, and they don’t do it because they may get wine
from you or a $5 gift card. They do it because somebody out there has a
problem, and they get to be the hero helping that person solve their problem by
connecting them with you, the best realtor in the world. That’s why they do it.
The fact that you acknowledge that they do it, is what ultimately matters to
the referral source, and that thank-you note matters. The things you’re going
to do in that memorable and meaningful, top-of-mind referral-generating plan
matter, too. It’s not specific to any one thing they do, it’s the cultivation
of that relationship over time when they start getting more and more referrals.

The truth is some referral sources will only give one
or two a year, and that’s all they really got in on them. Some, they’re sending
you three or four and they should be sending you eight a year, but you haven’t
tapped into that yet.

Pat: We tap into that with the
referral-generating plan?

Stacey: Yes. [crosstalk]

Pat: That referral-generating plan is four to eight-

Stacey: Touchpoints.

Pat: -touchpoints per year. One of the things that we do in our firm is we
have a 33-touch program. You may say, “Hey, you know what? Your
touch–” We send that 33-touch program out to people who would refer but
also pass clients that sort of thing. Someone that’s lower on the A, Bs, and
Cs, the automated plan, but do you think 33 is too many? What if I make the
eight really high-quality touches a part of the 33?

Stacey: Here’s the thing, I don’t know everything you’re doing within those 33.
I’d have to understand what those 33 touches actually look like to probably
say, “Kill it or cut it in half.” Here’s the other thing, I don’t
like walking into businesses and saying, “I’m going to break stuff that’s
working.” If your 33 touches are working, I’m not going to tell you let’s
break it.

What I am going to say is, “Is it working to the
level that you want it to be working, or is it kind of working?” Maybe you
need to look at something different, like the referral-generating plan to be
able to get more and get better results than what you’re currently getting. I’m
not going to say, “Oh my God, it’s way too many.” I don’t know what
they are. From that perspective, I wouldn’t say that.

What I do know, though, if you’re following a plan
that says every three times that you do this, you should be asking them from a
referral. What I would say is if you are running a program that tells you to
ask for referrals, you can’t also sign the tenancy run my program that’s
saying, “You’re going to generate referrals without asking,” because
the messaging is mixed, and it kills what I’m trying to cultivate and what I’m
trying to help you cultivate within your referral sources.

It’s more about what’s the messaging? What are you
doing? Does it contradict or can you find a way to complement it, or do you
just need one and not the other? That’s okay, too. Every business owner has got
to make that choice for themselves.

Pat: First of all, everyone that I talk to, if I say, “Hey, do you want
more referrals?” They’re going to say, yes. That’s for sure. To the next
question of, what’s working?– Now when you say really referrals without asking
for them, in these four to eight meaningful touches that I’m doing to a
referral source, that’s what’s going to get them to bring the referral to me.
Is that correct?

Stacey: It is because it’s the language we use, it’s the referral seeds we
plant, but the touches got to be memorable and meaningful so that it have an
impact on us. It then subconsciously gets us thinking about you from a referral
perspective. Let me just talk a little bit about numbers, so that people can
understand. I tell everybody, I want everyone to have a referral explosion. We
have a free quiz in my community, which you can take it, and it land you at one
of three levels. You’re going to be a referral ninja, beginner, in-training, or
master. I want everybody to get to the master level.

Of the thousands of people who’ve taken my quiz, only
2% land there on their own. I know there’s a huge need for people to understand
what it looks like to get to the master level and to be able to generate
referrals without asking. Here’s the thing, when we talk about these masters,
I’ll talk a bit from a numbers perspective. Masters think different and they
act different. They think different because they don’t believe they have to
ask, and they do know why they are referred. They ultimately know how many
referrals they can reasonably receive in their first year. The other thing that
masters do is that you can only be a master based on results. There is actually
a numbers you have to hit to be able to get to that master level.

The idea here is that “Yes, I have definitely had
clients that I’ve taken from 40 to 50 referrals a year on average to, one, we
hit a record in the program last year of 347 in a year. These aren’t all
necessarily realtors. I’ll talk about Stacey who’s a realtor in the
program.” She was like “maybe one or two referrals a month.” She
was like, “Oh my gosh, it was so fun to see that hit consistent double
digits.” Getting to that point of like, “I get to do things that
makes me feel good.” It can also be the mortgage worker or the financial
advisor that’s like, “I get two or three a year that are consistent”
for my financial advisors. Just increasing them by 30% makes a huge increase.
It’s not everyone’s going to go 100% full-on referral only. We’re all going to
grow our business a little bit different. The reality it is to get to the
master level, you have to think different, you have to act different, and you
have to get certain types of results to get there because results, let’s be
honest, those are the only thing that matter at the end of the day.

That’s what makes my process and my plan different is
as we’re moving in that process of understanding what it looks like to go from,
him asking for referrals and I’m not getting any or I’m never getting any, to
being able to actually have a referral explosion, it will start with a trickle.
The trickle can snowball, and then you can hit your referral explosion number.
We want to grow that every year after.

The idea here is that you do have to think different,
and you do have to take different actions. It does go against a lot of the
other trainings that are out there, of what are taught to realtors and in this
marketplace, in terms of what it looks like to generate referrals. Sometimes
you have to be willing to stop those to actually, implement mine.

Pat: Yes, I get it. I’ve got my list, as you say my CRM– I don’t really
have a CRM, but I’ve got my yellow notepad. I’ve gone back five years. I’ve got
all the clients that I’ve done. I figured out my referral sources. Now, I’m
going to take those referral sources and I’m going to do between four and eight
memorable and meaningful touches to them per year. That’s my process.

Stacey: Well, you’re going to use the referral seed language, but then here’s
the final step. Step one is identifying your referral sources. Step two is
making sure you can always handwrite a thank-you note when someone sends you a
referral because it sets the baseline for more referrals, saying you’re worth
more referrals. Step three is building your referral-generating plan, which is
how you take care of your referral sources in between receiving referrals and
sending that thank-you note. Step four is the language piece you use that takes
your top of mind memorable and meaningful touches and actually moves you into
the subconscious from a referral perspective. That’s step four. Step five
though was, guess what? You are super busy. You are running a business, you are
taking care of clients and you’re trying to make things happen. Ultimately what
you need is a process.

Your referral sources need a referral experience,
which is really just that planned approach of that referral-generating plan,
memorable and meaningful, top of mind, using the right language. You need a
process to be able to execute on this so that it becomes something you do because
guess what? If I’m sending out Wonder Woman water bottles one year on Mother’s
Day, and guess what? I missed Mother’s Day, doesn’t have the same effect to
send out on Labor Day. It doesn’t.

Pat: Correct.

Stacey: You got to have a process in place for what it looks like, for you to
be able to execute on this. The truth is, the meat and potatoes of this is, of
course, identifying your referral sources is like, step number one, go no
further don’t pass, go if you won’t do it. The meat and potatoes is really step
three, that referral-generating plan and the secret sauce that makes for meat
and potatoes tastes good, is step four, which is the language of the planning
of referral seeds that we’ll do.

Here’s the thing, if you build it, it does not mean
they will come. You actually have to execute on it, which is why step five, is
so critical and so important because we need to make sure that you are actually
being consistent with this outreach, and taking care of your referral sources,
and planting those referrals seeds so you can start receiving more.

Pat: Talk to me about step four, the language piece that you use to convert
these people into actual referrals.

Stacey: I always tell folks, this is that secret sauce piece, and it’s the
piece that you have to understand how to use because you can overuse it, and
then [chuckles] it does not have the desired effect. The easiest one that I can
teach you, of course, I taught you the one that you write in a thank-you note
and exactly what that looks like. Now, what your referral seeds will look like
in the touches that you were doing, those touchpoints that you’re doing to your
referral sources, it depends on what your touch is. I will tell you, we all
have gifts. All of us have gifts for certain things. Language is mine, math not
so much. Language, that’s my gift.

A lot of folks, when they’re in my program,
particularly, if they’re at the VIP level, I’m helping them write their
language because this is the stuff that comes natural to me, but it depends on
the touchpoint they want to do.

It helps me understand what type of language there is.
Of course, in my online program, there’s tons of examples and scripts, and
that’s what it’s there for if you’re building your own and you’re not VIP, but
it just depends on what your touches are.

Here is another example I can give you of how easy it
is to plant a referral seed that everybody will use. At least, I can guarantee,
you can use this one in the next two weeks if you leave your house. If you
don’t leave your house, I can’t guarantee you can use this one. If you go to a
networking event, when someone says, “How’s business?” I’m putting
you on the spot here, but what’s the typical response people give when people
say, “How’s business?”

Pat: It’s pretty good.

Stacey: There’s nothing wrong with that response. I’m not trying to make you
feel bad for having that response for the last 20 years. The truth is, we’re
missing an opportunity–

Pat: Go ahead.

Stacey: Wait. What did you say?

Pat: I said, I do. I have my own response. You said, what is the most
difficult? [crosstalk] Go ahead.

Stacey: I don’t make anybody feel bad if that’s the response that they’ve been
using. The reality is, is when I tell folks is plant a referral seed. We don’t
know where it’s going to go until we know, but you won’t know if you don’t plan
it. The easiest referral seed to plant here is just to be– When someone says,
“How’s business?” be like, “Hey, it’s great. Thanks so much for
asking. Actually, it’s interesting. I was just reviewing my numbers over the first
quarter. I was just reviewing my numbers over last year and there were 80% of
my clients came to me and they were referred to me by somebody else. Don’t you
think referrals is the best way to grow your business?” and then be quiet
and watch to see if a conversation can actually ensue. You’re talking about
referrals. It naturally, it’s the easiest, there’s direct and indirect ways to
plant referral seeds.

That is naturally the easiest way to do it is with a
very direct one, answering that question, “How’s business?” There is
lots of times you plant referral seeds. Of course, it also just depends on the
situation as well. Those are two that people can typically get started with
that’ll help them. Now, here’s the thing. [chuckles] You are not going to have
a referral explosion by answering the, how’s business question with that answer
one time. You have to actually nurture this to see if it goes anywhere and you
will not create a referral explosion by handwriting a thank-you note, using the
language I gave you from that referral source.

These are things that build over time and that’s why I
understand the formula and the pieces behind the referrals state language is so
important. It is the thing, I would say, that when I talked to my students that
are in my Growth by Referrals Program, they’re like, everything makes perfect
sense, but there is a formula you have to understand and spend some time
getting good at with the language. That’s how we give dozens and dozens of
scripts and everyone’s feeling they don’t know what it looks like. A master
eventually figures it out and knows how and when to use it on their own,
without relying on anything I’m going to teach. That takes a little bit of time
to get there. Once you do it a couple of times, you realize it’s not
complicated, it’s just using the language.

Pat: All right. Now, you said two, and I’m a little ADD, I only got one.
[chuckles] When you’re out there at the networking event, they say, “How’s
business?” You go like, “Wow, actually funny, you should ask me that.
I’ve been reviewing my last year of business and astonished to find that
actually, 80% of my business came from referrals. It seems that’s a fabulous
way to grow a business. What do you think?”

Stacey: That’s how you’ve actually just planted a referral seed. Here’s the
secret with this though. That actually can’t be a lie.

Pat: Of course.


Stacey: Actually, I would like to say it goes without saying, it does not go
without saying. I actually need to say it.

Pat: Thanks for saying that. It’s the funny thing about scripts when people
teach scripts. I never say anything that’s not true. It’s just the power of it
just fails me. I think it’s the same for– It’s like, “Oh, hey, I was
talking to Gary Keller the other day.” Well, if I wasn’t talking to Gary
Keller, I wouldn’t say that. Maybe I saw him on a podcast and it’d be like,
“Hey, you know what? I was listening to Gary and he said that dah, dah,
dah dah.” That would ring way more true for me and that’s the way I would
say it. It’s only a nuance, but it’s a big difference for me from the inside.
That’s the one script that I got there. True.

Thanks for saying that, but I would only do that if I
went back and looked. Maybe I’m only getting 30% of my business from referrals.
You’re like, “Wow, I look back and I see a full 30% of my business came
from referrals. It seems that would be a great way to grow a business. What do
you think of that?” Maybe you’re talking to a financial planner, they’re
like, “What percentage of your business comes from referrals?” They’d
go, “Oh, Jeez. I don’t know.” Now you’re having a helpful
conversation while you’re talking about referrals.

You said two but I only got that one. Did I miss one
or– ?

Stacey: No, the other one was the thank-you card language I gave.

Pat: Thank you card. I’ve got that down solid.

Stacey: Those are the two that, I think, regardless, if you don’t go any
further after listening to this podcast episode, those are the two everyone can
walk away with, and they can implement immediately, and to see if it’s going to
start planning and actually having anything come from those referrals seeds
that they plant. Anything else that I would teach to my students in the program
comes from specific to whatever their touchpoints are within their
referral-generating plan. Those two, I think anyone can use, walk out with and
be like, “I’m going to a networking event tomorrow and just heard on this
podcast, I’m going to try it out.”

Here’s the thing, sometimes you have to practice the
language before it sounds normal to you, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sound
normal to the person hearing it, even if it doesn’t sound normal to you. It’s
important to practice it, but to what we just said, it’s important for it to be
the truth. If 30% doesn’t sound a very impressive number to you, then just say,
“I looked back the last five clients I received and three of them came by

Whatever the numbers are that are correct and real and
true, use whatever version of that you want to use. The goal is to get a
conversation started. That says two things, one, I get referrals. That’s what
I’m effectively telling you when I tell you that 80% or 30% or three out of
five of my clients, came by referral. One, I get referrals without me having to
tell you I worked by referral. The second thing it says is that it actually
allows us to then have a conversation about referrals from a business
development perspective.

Now, here’s the thing. If I’m having this conversation
and I am at– Maybe I’m at like the neighborhood girls night out and half are
working moms and half are, stay-at-home moms, I’m obviously, going to use this
depending on who I’m talking to, because it may fall flat on with some people,
maybe it doesn’t. The reality of it is if someone says, “Hey, Stacey,
how’s business?” They may be the most connected stay-at-home mom, you have
ever met, who has a network of tennis friends. I only say this because most of
my friends that are stay-at-home moms play a lot of tennis, and they don’t ever
include me because I’m terrible at it. The idea is, is that you never know so
you can plan anytime you want or you can be, strategic about when you decide to
plant that seed.

Pat: I’ve had phenomenal takeaways from this conversation. I know that you
have a lot more to teach and that you have a book out, you have a program. I
appreciate you sharing these pieces with the real estate Rockstar Nation today.
I definitely have learned some important pieces, for sure.

Everybody that we get on the show, we find it very
effective. They put up something, it could be a couple of scripts. Maybe you gave
two scripts today, if you give eight scripts on networking or whatever you feel
comfortable with, tell me what that is, and then I’ll say that it’s going to be
the gift that we’re going to offer. That gets people to come on and click and
then they’ll get your gift but that’ll also be a link for them to be able to
connect with you.

Stacey: Typically, I send people to the quiz because then the quiz follows up
with specific things to do, to move them from a beginner to a master.

Pat: What is the quiz called?

Stacey: It’s the Referral Ninja Quiz. It’s just at stacybrownrandall.com/quiz.

Pat: Referral?

Stacey: Ninja Quiz.

Pat: Okay, Referral Ninja Quiz.

Stacey: It’s just nine simple questions.

Pat: Nine questions. When they get
the answers to the questions, it then gives them some advice as well?

Stacey: Yes. What it does is that it gives them their level. They’ll take the
nine questions, it’ll give them a level. There’ll be a beginner and in-training
or a master. It’ll produce results for them that’ll walk them through, like a
roadmap of like, “Here’s where you are, and here’s what you need to know
and be able to do to move along.” That’s in a follow-up email that comes
when we deliver their results via email.

Pat: All right. Great.

Stacey: It tells them, “Here’s some podcast episodes to go to, or some
articles to read to fill in the gaps,” that they have or they can get more

Pat: Tell me, it’s Stacey, S-T-A-C-Y, Brown B-R-O-W-N, Randall.

Stacey: Stacey has an E, S-T-A-C-E-Y. Brown, the color, and then Randall,

Pat: That’s your website?

Stacey: Yes. That’s my home base. The quiz is just staceybrownrandall.com/quiz.

Pat: Stacey, thank you so much for all the value that you’ve delivered
today. As we talked about before, all the people that come on give a gift to
all the listeners. What you’ve done, and we’re going to have it listed up with
a podcast is your quiz. That quiz is going to be nine simple questions which is
going to put you down into the just beginning, that in-training, and the master
level. You told me only 2% of people end up with master from the quiz, which is
fine. That’s why we all have teachers.

Following that quiz, you’re going to give them a
walkthrough on what they need to do to improve, correct?

Stacey: Yes. I’m really big on the roadmap and a step-by-step and let’s not try
to throw everything at you at one point. Once you take that quiz, you’re going
to know where you stand, and it’s going to show you the gaps you need to close
to move yourself to that master level so you can get started and start
generating more referrals.

Pat: Well, I’m definitely going to take the quiz. I’m just telling you in
advance, I’m hoping for the middle level. [laughter]

I feel like I will not land into that top 2% on
referrals, for sure, but even if I did, you’re going to have steps for me,

Stacey: Yes, I absolutely will. Most of the steps, [chuckles] well, to be
honest, are built for our beginners and our in-training. For people who come in
at the master level, usually, it’s just a celebration.

Pat: All right. 2% on celebrate, I feel quite certain I will not be in that
2% so I’ll be looking forward to the steps. I’m going to commit to taking that
quiz today. How about that? [crosstalk] Nine questions, I can do that.

Stacey: Nine questions, you should be able to do that very easily.

Pat: Folks can find me at Instagram, Facebook at Paul Mark Morris which is
just Paul M-A-R-K M-O-R-R-I-S. That’s my handle on Instagram and also Facebook.
Stacey, you’re just Stacey, Stacey with an E, S-T-A-C-E-Y Brown Randall,
R-A-N-D-A-L-L.com. That will take you to all sorts of resources in a way to
connect with Stacey. It’s been phenomenal chatting with you. I really, really
appreciate taking the time. I know that the Rock Star Nation folks will love

Stacey: Well, I had a blast being here. I appreciate the fact you asked really
good questions because it definitely allows me to teach more and provide more
insight. Thank you for having me on.

Pat: My pleasure. This will only be the second time that I make fun of the
drape behind you. I just say, “Hey, that’s commitment.” Right?

Stacey: Yes. You know what? It was this or my beautiful office with hammering
noises behind me. I figured the audio mattered more than what I looked like and
what was behind me, but you keep making fun of it so now I’m not so sure.

Pat: Well, it looks great.

Stacey: Thank you.

Pat: Thank you, again. Really appreciate it and I know we’ll be in touch.


Stacey: Bye for now.

Pat: Bye-bye.

Comments are closed.