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Damien Churton on 15 June 2019

Referral Month. Part 4.

How to deal with your head trash when asking for referrals. 


Over the course of "referral month", we’ve been exploring the process of implementing a successful referral strategy into your business.

Read the previous articles here:

1. Want more referrals? You get what you ask for!

2. Your Network is your Net Worth

3. Networking is an Ongoing Process

Today I want to explore what regularly gets in the way of asking for referrals – your head trash!

Asking for referrals takes courage and overcoming your head trash is a big part of that process. People don't read minds and cannot tell what you are thinking, so you have to ask for what you want.


Examples of Head Trash & How To Respond

Unless you learn to recognise your own head trash and respond appropriately, referral head trash can quickly clutter your brain and stop you from earning referrals. And that is a huge problem, because a referral-based business is by far the most effective business model for any business.

Here's a list of common head trash you've probably experienced.


“I’m not much of a people person and never really met many people along the way”.

Many people I know simply refuse to network because they don’t consider themselves a “people person”. This is a story I told myself for a long time until I began to take action. It is something you can and must overcome through practice, rather than making excuses. Once you begin to regularly network and proactively ask for referrals, you will get better and more confident - and even begin to enjoy it!

You can read my own story about overcoming my networking head trash in last week’s article or hear me discuss it on our podcast.


“I will look needy”.

"If I ask people for referrals it will make them think that I have a problem with my business." If you deliver a quality outcome for your clients, you deserve a referral, And the reality is that if you don't ask, you will not receive. Recognise that if you’re asking the right people, in the right way, people are more than happy to help - our brains are hard-wired that way!


“What if I ask and they say no?”

So what? In the small chance someone refuses to give you a referral, use it as a learning opportunity. What do you need to improve? If you aren’t getting a stream of referral business already, you need to find out why.


"I know I should ask, but there's never enough time. "

During meetings with clients, do you tend to run out of time to ask for referrals, even when you have it on your agenda? If so, broach the subject early in the meeting instead of waiting until the end. Have a referral mindset. Tell the client that your goal is to provide impressive service and products. If you make it a priority to wow your client, they will gladly refer you to their friends and associates.


“I'm just not comfortable asking”.

Then practice! It's the only way you'll become comfortable. Very few of us are comfortable the first time we try anything. Remember the first time you played golf? Did you swing the club and miss? If so, did you quit or keep swinging? Have you ever fallen while skiing or hit the tennis ball into the net? Have you ever played the wrong note on a musical instrument? Practice may not make perfect every time, but the more you do it, the more you'll improve.


"I'm doing okay, why rock the boat”?

Do you worry that if you ask a client for more business, your client won't like it? If you don't rock the boat, at least you won't make waves that could capsize your business, right? By being reactive vs. proactive, you'll merely continue to drift along. Your business won't grow.


Head trash can show up in a million different ways - this is just a very small sample you may have already experienced. It is imperative that you first acknowledge the head trash that is occurring, and move forward anyway. You will get better and more polished the more you do it.

To our clients - I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at our M500 event this week, and our speed networking night the following week, where we will put many of these strategies we've been describing over the past few weeks into practice.

Till next week!

Damien Churton

Senior Strategist - Business Benchmark Group

DamienChurton Profile



Could you use some guidance to run a more successful business? We offer free workshops so you can "test drive" our coaching with no obligation whatsoever. 

Call 03 9001 0878 today or drop us an email. 


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