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 Hare with Many Friends
A hare was very popular with the other beasts who all claimed to be her friend. But one day she heard the hounds approaching and hoped to escape them by the aid of her many friends.
So she went to the horse, and asked him to carry her away from the hounds on his back. But he declined stating that he had important work to do for his master. He felt sure, he said, that all her other friends would come to her assistance.
She then applied to the bull, and hoped that he would repel the hounds with his horns. The bull replied, “I am very sorry, but I have an appointment with a lady… but I feel sure that our friend the goat will do what you want.”
The goat, however, feared that his back might do her some harm if he took her upon it.
The ram, he felt, was the proper friend to apply to. So she went to the Ram and told him the case. The ram replied: “Another time, my dear friend. I do not like to interfere on the present occasion… as hounds have been known to eat sheep as well as hares.”
The hare then applied, as a last hope to the calf… who regretted that he was unable to help her, as he did not like to take the responsibility upon himself, as so many older persons than himself had declined the task.
By this time the hounds were quite near.
The hare took to her heels and luckily escaped.
“He that has many friends has no friends”
The Consultant with Many Mortgage Broker Leads
A mortgage broker was very popular with many local professionals who claimed to be a part of her network. One day the housing market began to fail and the mortgage broker hoped to rely on her large network to help stay afloat.
So she called an attorney she knew and asked him to give her a call back. But he returned her call with an email stating that he had taken on a difficult case and would not be available for some time. He felt sure, he said, that the rest of her network would come to her assistance.
She then applied to the accountant, and hoped that he would have some qualified sales leads for her. The accountant replied, “I am very sorry, but I’m not coming across too many people who need loans these days but I’m sure my contractor will.”
The contractor, however, had been out of work for some time and felt that the real estate agent would be eager to refer her some clients.
So she had lunch with the Realtor and told him the case. The Realtor replied: “Another time, my dear friend. I am down on my luck on the present occasion… as the recession has been hurting Realtors as well, perhaps you should consult the small business directory.”
The mortgage broker then applied, as a last hope to the young insurance agent… who regretted that he was unable to help her, as he did not feel comfortable networking with her, as so many older persons than himself had declined the task.
By this time revenue had nearly dried up.
The mortgage broker took some initiative and created a powerful referral system. “A 10% commission to anyone who sends me a referral that leads to a sale!” She let everyone in town know about her promotional offer.
Luckily she was able to get her practice back on track.
“He that has a big network has a weak network”