We proudly present Fable Fridays. This weekly installment will draw parallels between referral networking and some of society’s most cherished moral tales: Aesop’s Fables.
You could go to expensive seminars and buy up every book on referral marketing, but it doesn’t take a marketing genius to realize that Aesop got it right nearly 3,000 years ago.
The Goose with the Golden Eggs
One day a countryman going to the nest of his goose found there an egg all yellow and glittering. When he took it up it was as heavy as lead and he was going to throw it away, because he thought a trick had been played on him. But he took it home on second thoughts, and soon found that it was an egg of pure gold.
Every morning the same thing occurred, and he grew rich by selling his eggs. As he grew rich he grew greedy; and thinking to get at once all the gold the goose could give, he killed it and opened it only to find nothing.
“Greed often overreaches itself.”
The Superfluous Accountant Referral
One day a fledgling accountant was contacted by an overburdened bookkeeper. The bookkeeper said, “I saw your profile in the small business directory and was impressed with your rating. Due to a new venture I’ve been pursuing, I’ve been unable to find the time to follow-up with every lead I receive. I’d like to refer a few clients who could use your services in the hopes that you will reciprocate someday.”
Seeing this as an opportunity to boost lead generation, the young accountant eagerly agreed.
The accountant received an occasional referral from the bookkeeper; this supplemented his current clientele. The accountant thought to himself, “How can a bookkeeper with such little time have such a surplus of referrals? Perhaps I can circumvent this bookkeeper and go straight to the referral source!”
After browsing LinkedIn, the accountant realized that the bookkeeper was receiving referrals from a close colleague at a larger firm. When the firm met with potential prospects who were too small to use their services, they would refer the prospect to the bookkeeper.
The accountant contacted the bookkeeper’s colleague without the bookkeeper knowing. He never heard from either of them again.
“Overreaching referrals seldom make freinds”