Looking for Referrals? Answer the Phone and Show Up!

I often wonder why one business does so well, while another almost identical business doesn’t make it. There are many factors involved in the failure of a business, many of which are out of the owner’s control. However, it is rare that a business succeeds, receiving high quality referrals, without the owner taking intentional steps that lead to its success.

My friend Brian Popp owns a landscaping business in Chapel Hill, North Carolina named Landscape Logic. In the several years I’ve known Brian, I’ve watched his business start from a very small company and grow very quickly into a large, successful organization. I wanted to know what he is doing that makes him so successful amongst several hundred other landscaping companies.

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So I called Brian one day and asked him about the secret to his success. At first, Brian was a little surprised by my question. However, after a little bit of thought, he was able to come up with his answers pretty quickly. The first thing he said, which struck a chord with me immediately, was, “We answer our phones. And if we can’t answer, we return the call right away.” That is very impressive. Think about that. How often do you call a company, and you are instantly connected to an automated system? Sure, you’re promised a call back within 24 hours. Within 24 hours?! Like most folks, I am an instant gratification kind of guy, and I want an answer now. Not tomorrow. If you answer my call now, your likelihood of getting my business probably goes up by 90%.

The next thing Brian said, which is equally as important, is that his company shows up, does great work, and stands behind their work. They provide nothing less than high quality work. Brian strives for excellence in his work, and his company’s success is proof that they attain that excellence. If you think about it, there is too much competition out there for Brian not to offer his clients the best work and highest level of service.

Brian’s work is not the least expensive, yet his phone keeps ringing off the hook. Why? The great customer service his company provides and their high standards of quality produces an endless stream of referrals from enthusiastically happy clients. Not just satisfied clients. Enthusiastically happy clients.
Read this short article from INC  on “10 Reasons Customers Will Pay More”.

I suggest we all follow Brian Popp’s lead. Always answer your phone. When you can’t, call back as soon as possible – like today! When you get the order, SHOW UP, do a great job, and stand behind your work. This will lead to enthusiastically happy clients, which will lead to an endless stream of referrals.



Joe Novara strongly believes in the power of Business Networking and Referral Partnerships. Joe has been a sales professional for over 20 years selling both Printing and Real Estate very successfully. He attributes most of the credit for his success to the power of Networking and Referral Partnerships. In his talks, Joe shares how he overcame his fears of attending large networking events and the procedures he developed for getting the most out of every networking event. The relationships Joe has developed through networking have always been a great source of referrals and new business.