How to Handle a Bad Referral


Good morning Next level. It’s been a rough morning. Woke up with a splitting headache. My wife is missing and worst of all I got a bad referral, you know, but it’s going to happen right. Sometimes you receive a referral and perhaps it’s apparent immediately that the referral is a dog.

There’s really basically two kinds of bad referrals.  The first is it wasn’t really a referral. It was a leak.  You contact the prospect and the prospect treats you like the plague because they weren’t expecting your call. The second kind is the referrer tried to connect you to somebody that’s not a good fit for you and/or your business. Now a bad referral can waste a lot of time if you try to go through the motions with it if they’re not a good fit. It also has the potential to negatively impact the relationships of some or all of the people involved.  That is of course if you don’t handle the situation well.

So how should you handle a bad referral? Well first you have to realize something it’s probably not the fault of the person who gave you the referral. So where did things go wrong?  Well that’s when you should look in the mirror.  You likely have not sufficiently explained what a good referral is for you.  Your priority in BNI is to learn what others are looking and to effectively communicate what you are looking for in terms of referrals.

So what do you do now? Well certainly don’t go gossiping around to other members about how so and so gave you a lousy referral.  As my good buddy and business partner Yako always says, “When you point the finger at somebody else, remember there’s three fingers pointing back at you.” Whatever. So instead it’s advised that you be an adult and you talk to the person who gave you the referral, the bad referral and explain to them why it’s not a good fit.  Emphasize what is a good fit and maybe even give them some language to say the next time they think they might have a good referral for you, or if you’re unsure about a referral you’re about to give, ask the fellow chapter member if it is a good referral for them.  Check in before you actually do the referral, and by doing this and practicing you’ll get better and better at referring other members.

If someone is a chronic bad referrer, then it’s recommended that you go to the membership committee and talk to them about it because it’s something that should be addressed in a mentorship and helpful sort of way. So anyways that’s this week’s EC moment.  I hope you have a good week. I’m going to go take some Advil.

1 Comment

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