“How do you do it, Rosalind?” Once again, Rosalind has filled her practice and is not taking any referrals. My consultation group is collectively shaking their heads.
Once a quarter, as we round the room and talk about what’s lacking or needed to grow our practices, Rosalind talks about her clients. “That was a referral from church and oh, that one was from a friend I used to work with years ago.” On and on. She seems to know everyone and everyone seems to know her. But I know her secret.
She genuinely likes to hear stories.
She makes active listening an art form and has never met a stranger.
On the elevator, in a restaurant and even at the holiday party, she was leaning forward listening to a story and nodding appreciatively.
What does this have to do with her practice?
Very simply, she puts herself out there. Not in a big, give-a-speech kind of way. More like a smile, nod, how are you today, kind of way. Her card is at the ready, tucked in her pocket. She asks questions about how a business is run, how’s the stress level where you are, how are you feeling? That string of questions happened when she and I decided to stop by the office near ours. Actually, she decided. I went along for the ride and watched her work. If you has asked me, (which she didn’t) I would have run back to the safe confines of our office and finished paperwork. But, well, the office door was right there and we were between clients, so why not say hello?
And why not, indeed. It took 3 minutes and two business cards later (thiers and hers). We were back in the office and she was tapping away looking them up on LinkedIn. Two minutes more, and she saw they were entertainment lawyers and she had mutual connections. Now she was sending an email to the connection letting them know she had run into a mutual friend. And, I imagine, next quarter? She will have a referral from one or the other.
These are small moments for Rosalind. They add up to referrals. Her other secrets?
She’s a connector. Regardless of what the payoff is for her.
“Oohh, you like these shoes?” Give me your email and I will send you the link. (This– is in the waiting room.)
She connects in the most joyful way. “You HAVE to try this Greek Yogurt.” Well, if it gives you THAT much joy, I do.
And–in the most genuine way. With no strings attached. Everyone in the office has benefitted from a Rosalind referral.
And finally? She follows through. Referral sources get a call back and a thank you. Med management discussions happen every time with the referring M.D.
Clients get the extra five minutes at the door–there is more laughter coming from her office than any other. There’s time for a discussion about the funny thing the dog did or the teen rebellion.
She listens, actively, responds enthusiastically and follows up diligently.
Small gestures— and no magical powers needed.