In this episode, I talk with Michael Griffiths about using strategic partnerships to grow your business. He talks about a number of different kinds are partnership opportunities along with how you know when your business might be ready to use them.
Michael is the founder of referral marketing guru and is the #1 authority on referral marketing training for service providers around the globe.
Michael shows people how to generate 10-15 warm qualified leads and referrals a day by using referral sources, their networks and partnerships.
Frank Bria: 00:00 The 6 to 7 Figures Show. Episode 70. Let’s hit it.
Announcer: 00:04 Broadcasting from the Valley of the Sun outside Phoenix, Arizona. This is the 6 to 7 Figures Show. Tired of working so hard and having no time? Take your 6 figure practice and turn it to a thriving 7 figure enterprise. And now your host, author, speaker, mentor and strategist Frank Bria.
Frank Bria: 00:29 Hey everyone, welcome to the 6 to 7 Figures Show. I’m your host, Frank Bria and today I’m absolutely pleased to be joined by Michael Griffiths, the founder of ReferralMart and referral marketing guru. He’s the number one authority on referral marketing training for service providers around the globe. Michael shows people how to generate 10 to 15 warm qualified leads and referrals each day by using referral sources their networks and partnerships. Michael so thrilled for you to be here. Welcome to the show.
Michael Griffit: 00:59 Yeah, thank you Frank. Very excited to be here and to be with the listeners.
Frank Bria: 01:03 Yeah, absolutely. It feels like referrals are the thing that is a dirty word for a lot of service providers. They know they want them, but they can’t quite figure out a way to get them. They feel random. They feel like luck. One day they show up and another they don’t, but a lot of service providers live and die on these. So what’s the secret to making that not just luck of the draw, but actually designing a better process?
Michael Griffit: 01:33 Yeah, 100%. I think it comes down to probably two things. It comes down to most people are reactive rather than proactive. So they’re sitting back and they go, “Well, I hope a client refers me” or “I hope someone talks about me” or “I hope that something happens”. So really there’s no process, there’s no plan. It’s sitting back hoping that something happens, so that’s our first problem. The second problem is for whatever reason we feel awkward, strange, uncomfortable in asking. Which is really quite, quite funny because we’re happy to ask strangers or we’re happy to ask people to come and buy from us, yet people we’ve got a relationship with, people who already trust us, people who already know, like us; for some reason we feel strange in talking to them about that. So in essence, we want to be able to knock those two things on the head by having sort of simple processes and systems around it, where really it just happens with or without you in terms of these opportunities and referrals coming someone’s way.
Frank Bria: 02:42 Yeah. It’s really interesting that you mentioned that because I mean I certainly have been in that position where I felt a little bit awkward asking for a referral, and then I sit and I think about it, I reflect on it a little bit and I think, “Wait, I’ve had people ask me for referrals before who I like and trust and it really didn’t bother me all that much, so why am I bothered by it”? I guess we never really look back and reflect on our own experiences with this ourselves.
Michael Griffit: 03:07 Yes so, so true and I think it comes back to, and most people don’t really probably fathom this enough, that as humans we actually like to help other people. As humans, we want to give, it’s inside us, that’s how we are actually made up. So when we actually start to understand that a little bit better, it’s just, water off a duck’s back asking. And it’s also water off a duck’s back when you don’t hold onto the result, you don’t get emotionally attached to the results. So there’s two big things for people to think about straight away now.
Frank Bria: 03:43 Yeah. Well, there’s been a lot of talk recently about the focus on process rather than results, or kind of as you’re describing, because you know, when we get attached to the outcome, a lot of times we’ll sort of talk ourselves out of doing the things necessary to get the outcome. But when it’s all about process, I can imagine that if you focus on making a request, sort of, “I’m going to ask a certain number of people, regardless of the outcome”. Eventually the outcome will come. It’s just that we have to sort of understand what that process is and getting into a little bit of habit forming I guess.
Michael Griffit: 04:22 That’s so true, yeah, 100%. So, we sort of talk about 9 accelerators to be able to do this and it’s just a matter of, again, going through building “Good, now I’ve got accelerator one, now I’ve got two, now I’ve got three”. It’s a matter of just putting those in place rather than there being any emotion to it whatsoever. It’s just building a system. No different to what the accounts payable system is ,or the calendar system is, or the daily workout system is. It’s no different and that’s how I think people need to see it.
Frank Bria: 04:56 That’s a really great way to put it because I do think we get really emotionally attached to anything having to do with sales and marketing for some reason. But invoices get sent out, you know, sothat just happens. You work with service providers. What kinds of people do you find that this process works best for? What kinds of companies, how long do they have to have been around? Is there a certain level of income that they need to do in order to put this into practice?
Michael Griffit: 05:28 Yeah, the lovely thing is that it doesn’t really matter what type of business it is. We focus on service providers because that’s what makes me not have to go too far from the system. That allows us to be able to leverage and scale it a little bit more, but we’ve had businesses that are online stores through to brick and mortar local businesses, through to service providers, people who have opened the door yesterday, through to people who’ve been around for 30 plus years. The bottom line simply is if someone is ready to grow, if someone is tired of wasting money on ad spend or can’t get ad spend to work for them, they’re sort of the perfect people. And for a lot of service providers, I know certainly here in Australia, there’s a lot that are actually restricted by where they can spend money on ad spend and they’re not allowed to do certain things through regulations. And therefore, being able to get word-of-mouth and referrals is the only thing that they’re actually allowed to do. So therefore we find thatcoaches, consultants, peopleattorneys and financial planners and mortgage brokers, mortgage lenders, all of those service orientated providers, there just, isn’t one that hasn’t been able to have great success.
Frank Bria: 06:51 That’s phenomenal. You know, there are folks who, granted, they’ve got invested interest in the paid ads community, but there are folks who say, you know, “Referrals are great, but you can’t really grow that necessarily”. Is that what you’re finding? Is that true or are referrals just sort of one of many diversified income streams that you should kind of put in place?
Michael Griffit: 07:19 Yeah. Nice. So, certainly I wouldn’t know problems with spending money on ads if that’s what’s working for somebody that’s just not our space and we focus on our space. 99% of people cannot grow a business based on referrals because they are reactive and they’ve got no stuff in place. If you’re only going to get four, five referrals a month, no, you can’t grow your business on referrals and that’s what most people get simply because they don’t have things in place. When I look at our guys who are getting 30 40, 50 referrals a month, that’s more than what most people get in their paid ad space.
Frank Bria: 08:02 Yeah that’s true, and they’re probably warmer leads too.
Michael Griffit: 08:05 Oh 100%. You should be closing referrals up at 75-80% where most people, they get 20% of cold traffic. They’re over the moon type of thing. So I sort of go at accelerator one, it’s Build Referral Sources. Well, if you want, let’s just go. So referral sources, someone who sells to the same people you sell to and you don’t compete with one another. Simple. So you just simply ask yourself, where else do my clients spend money? Because they’re people that I could partner up with. So if you had 10 referral sources that pass you one referral a month, well there’s 10 referrals. So let’s take that out. If you had 50 referral sources, there is 50. We’ve got a whiteboard here of nearly 400 referral sources. If they passed us one referral a month, there’s 400. You can grow a business on referrals when you’ve got the right things in place.
Frank Bria: 09:03 Yeah, that’s a great perspective. And it’s true. I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s the reactive versus the proactive view and this idea that referrals kind of only come at the end of some milestone or something like that. And you, you’re kind of restricted as to when you can ask. I think it sounds like just in looking at that first accelerator, I think it opens up a lot of people’s minds what the opportunities are. I know that a lot of us, cause I, I’ve been in this position too, you know, curious if you have as well. I’ve had people ask me for referrals who I love and trust and think are amazing and I would love to help them out, but I kind of don’t know really what to do with the request, you know. I kind of think “I don’t really know anyone off the top of my head and I’d love to help or figure it out, but I kind of feel lost”. And so I’ll shake my head and say, “Sure, you know, I’d love to, I’ll keep you top of mind or something”. How do people break through that experience and get actually some traction out of what would otherwise be a really warm prospect for a referral?
Michael Griffit: 10:13 Yeah. Great. In building what we call Million-Dollar Referral System, which is sort of what we help people build. To me, it’s not just a matter of me coming and going, “Frank, do you happen to know anyone that needs blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you do, love for you to pass me their name and number”. That’s what people generally think is getting referrals. That’s an awkward conversation. That if you don’t, then you all of a sudden feel, “Oh how do I handle this? What do I do? What do I say? How do I go about it”? Where I say “Well, let’s actually make it real easy for anyone to be able to help us generate new business”. So the bottom line is, we want people who have a pain point looking for a solution coming into our CRM. We should be filling our CRM everyday, customer relationship management system. So I could go, let’s just pretend, Frank’s playing a client of ours. And instead of going, “Well, Frank, do you happen to know X, Y, Z”? I think that “Frank, we’ve got this great nine point referral game plan. Would you mind just sharing that out to your network”? How easy is that for you to be able to do? Straight away, anyone that has the pain point that they’re not getting enough referrals, anyone that wants the solution, they’re going to now come to us, give us their name and email, allow us to be able to educate, nurture, stay front of mind, and really it’s taking you five seconds to do something that’s probably going to provide us with more warm opportunities than what you could be having to think about it.
Frank Bria: 11:53 Yeah, so in some sense, you’re kind of lowering the threshold for what would be considered a referral. In other words, you know, a lot of us think when, I’m asked for a referral, I kind of have to think of someone who is in the market to buy directly. You know what it is, but it’s not. It could just be a very warm introduction with a handoff of some value.
Michael Griffit: 12:18 100%, because there is a range from 0 to 10 in terms of the referral letter and a 10 is definitely, “Oh, I met this person who needed exactly what it is that you did. I spoke to them about you, ensured that they’re ready to be able to speak to you. Here’s a name and number. They’re expecting a phone call”. Perfect. Number 10, top of referral. If we only waited for them, we would probably only get one or two a month, because they just don’t fall on people’s laps all that often. So therefore, that will naturally happen when you’ve got referral sources doing other things for you also. Just simply because you are more front of mind, you are really sort of in their realm of talking about you. So therefore, you will always get those opportunities, but rather than sitting there waiting just for that opportunity, let’s get people doing other stuff for us also.
Frank Bria: 13:16 Yeah, you’re basically describing opening up the referral funnel. The same way we would in leads, you know, we don’t wait for the very last minute to start talking to people. We try to create an earlier opportunity for a conversation. That’s great. I want to pivot really quickly to the work that you do. Soas you’re working with folks to basically install these accelerators and get them up and running, how do you work with them? What’s the process that you take them through that helps them get these things up and running?
Michael Griffit: 13:51 Yeah, so a combination of both the 9 accelerators, I’ll list quickly: Build Referral Sources, Create Joint Ventures, Systemize Client Referrals, Grow our Networks with Perfect People, Engage with our Networks, Create Conversations with our Networks, Leverage Access through Partnerships into Organizations/Associations Where all of our People hang out, Fill our CRM through Partnerships and Gain Mass Exposure into other People’s Networks. There are the 9 accelerators. So we take those 9 and we actually build out what we call Million-Dollar Referral System. So it starts with “What do you know him for”? Cause if you’re not creating the perception that you’re the go-to, then why would a partner want to partner with you? Why would your networks want to promote you? Why would you get podcasts, webinars, speaking opportunities? Why would people want to be your referral source? So it starts with what are you known for in creating that perception? Then we’ve got the five channels: the partner channel, the network channel, the social channel, the live and livery(?) channel, the retargeting channel. Everything is done through not having to spend a cent on paid marketing. And it’s done, pretty much, through leveraging into other people’s networks. From there that’s sort of all top of funnel: building our audience, putting people into the CRM. So then we can come into the middle of funnel. Now we’ve got to be able to educate, nurture, stay front of mind, show that audience that we are the experts. So there’s a whole bunch of activities that we get our people to do in there that makes that happen, because as we bring them from being in our audience to now realizing that we can help at the bottom of the funnel, it’s about getting them to raise their head and say, “Hey, I actually think that you’ve got what I need. Can we please talk”? So again, it’s about having a whole bunch of activities that happen day in, day out that allow us to be able to get people to raise their heads. So now we’ve got the ability to create sales. So in building out that Million-Dollar Referral System, it’s building top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel. So they’ve really just got all three segments of marketing working well for them.
Frank Bria: 16:05 That’s great. Yeah, that’s very well organized. Do you findyou are providing implementation support for people with these things?
Michael Griffit: 16:14 Yeah. Great. So we pretty much do these two programsImplementation Program is our lower program where it’s a lot more do-it-yourself modules online, learn the modules, but then you turn up to various group sessions where Partnership Club is our flagship program. And that is very much hold your hand, be part of the community, live intensives every 90 days, weekly implementation sessions, monthly trainings, monthly planning. So there’s a lot more within Partnership Club and it’s pretty much, unless you really tried hard to fail, you just can’t fail because you’re getting your butt kicked the whole time to make it happen.
Frank Bria: 16:55 I love that. Unless you’re trying hard to fail. That’s the tagline right underneath. That’s great. That’s awesome What do you think are some of the things, we talked earlier about the fear, sort of, getting past this fear of asking and I want to pivot into mindset a little bit. I know we talked about systems and things like that, butwhat’s the key there? Is there something that people need to get past in order to kind offeel comfortable stepping out into this referral and partnership world?
Michael Griffit: 17:35 Yeah, it’s interesting. And, we talked something the other week on a video, that unless you are confident and secure internally then anything you try to do externally is probably gonna end up failing. So you’ve got to be, not so much sure of yourself, you’ve just got to be confident enough that everything you’re currently telling yourself to why it can’t work or why you’re not doing it, is actually not true and just being okay with that. I did a recording this morning for some of our content next week and from a conversation yesterday where one of our guys had some odd, just wrote something really nasty on one of the social media comments and it’s just aroundyou’ve just got to focus on making an impact for the people you’re making an impact for. No one else matters. I think when you’ve got that way of thinking that “Hey, you’re just talking to your people and not everyone’s your person, you don’t need everyone to be your person” and when you just focus on creating the impact that you really want to create for the people who actually really enjoy and value, then all of a sudden it becomes an awful lot easier to do the things that you should be doing.
Frank Bria: 18:56 Yeah. I think that’s a really powerful principle. You knowone of my mentors is Michael Portan author, a New York Times bestselling author, and he always used to saythere’s some people in this world you’re meant to serve and others not so much. So if you’re ever online or interacting with social media and you’ve ever had the experience that you described, you realize how important and powerful that principle is to apply, cause otherwise it’s pretty hard to get up in the morning.
Michael Griffit: 19:29 Yeah, yeah. No, 100%. And it’s like you’ve, just got to feel sorry for them and their life and give it about a second’s worth of energy, cause that’s all it deserves. And to realize that the impact you’re making means that you need to be going out, you need to be getting doors open, you need to be speaking to people, you need to be creating opportunities because you’ve got more people to help. And that’s where our focus should be.
Frank Bria: 19:54 Yeah, I love that. And one of the things I find is people who do referral,etworking and partnership networking,eally, really well are the ones who treat their partners and their referral partners and joint venture partners and those folks just like their clients. In other words, they see it as sort of an extension of their client base and service. So that’s a great way to position it. Yeah. I really would love to chat some more, but Mike, we’re out of time and I know you’re really busy. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to spend time with us. Before we go though,or those people who want to connect with you, learn a little bit more about the accelerators, the work that you do, what’s a great way for them to begin that connection with you?
Michael Griffit: 20:46 Yeah, so pop over to MichaelGriffiths.com.au. That’s an easy spot. You’ve got all of our social media at the top, so come hang out in our referral network Facebook group. Grab the 9 point referral game plan, which is there right front and center on the site. So that one place has everything to either connect, to reach out, to grab the 9 point game plan. It’s all there, MichaelGriffiths.com.au.
Frank Bria: 21:14 Great. And that link is below the video, or if you’re on the show notes page, it’s right there. If you’re out and about listening to this audio, come on back to the show notes page and click on through to connect with Michael and his team. Thank you Michael so much for being here. Really appreciate the insights. I know for me personallyyou’ve opened up a couple of windows into opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought with referrals. So appreciate that insight.
Michael Griffit: 21:42 Yeah absolute pleasure. Great meeting with you Frank and thanks to the listeners for listening.
Frank Bria: 21:46 Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for being here with us on the 6 to 7 Figures Show. I’ve been your host, Frank Bria. We know you’ve got a lot of things you could do with your time, so if you’re spending it with us, we are honored and thanks so much for being with us and listening to this and we’ll catch you on the next episode. Alright everyone, take care, bye bye.