Activating the “Referral Brain”

Referral BrainMany of you have already heard me preach that if you want to attract business, it’s essential to have a niche. This is something I’ve really had to learn for myself along the way, as focusing on doing just one thing doesn’t come naturally to us entrepreneurial types, especially in the holistic fields where there is a high value placed on connecting diverse elements, not isolating them. But as a coach, it’s my observation that until a business owner declares a marketing niche, very little progress happens.

One of the strongest reasons for declaring a niche is that it opens up the floodgates for referrals. Sure, even a generalist will get some referrals naturally from clients and friends. But when you have a clear niche, there is a whole world of referrals available to you, from people that you may not even know very well! Let me give you an example…

Today I was discussing areas of expertise with a practitioner who is highly skilled in a modality but is still something of a generalist as far as marketing materials go. Well it turns out that my friend has a ton of experience in working with a particular health condition that is both widespread and grossly neglected by traditional western medicine. Before, I would have made referrals to my friend, but only if someone was really asking me. But now I’m all fired up! My “Referral Brain” got activated! The first thing I did after our chat was to make 2 personal referrals and give the contact info for a 3rd. Three referrals in 10-minutes…not bad!

So here’s how I see the “Referral Brain” working:

Previously, to make a referral to my friend, I had to keep a mental list of what they do in my mind. It was pretty clear, but at the same time vague. If someone came across my radar, I had to mentally sort through the list of competencies I associated with my friend and see if there was a match. Not efficient! That requires some real thinking from your referral partners.

But when my friend demonstrated expertise in that ONE condition today, my brain was immediately able to play connect-the-dots. Bammo. Instant referral partners came to mind. Furthermore, I felt really excited about making those referrals! My friend didn’t ask me to. I just did it because I was so enthusiastic. LESSON: to activate someones referral brain, you’ve got to make it easy. Present a niche specialty to them, and let your referral partner’s brain do the rest of the work.

Shameless plug here: My niche is strategic coaching for holistic businesses. So if you know anyone like a spa professional, alternative health practitioner, or personal development coach that could use some support to grow to the next level, please send them my info.

And by all means, if you’ve got a niche you want to announce, feel free to enter a comment on this blog post and include your website link if you’ve got one.

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About the Author

Jaya Savannah - Chief Inspiration Officer. Strategy Coach for Holistic Businesses. Trainer, speaker, and writer. Spiritually aware, yet street smart. Elephant lover.