The Referral Guy
S5 Episode 4
Episode Title – The Value of Accountability in Referral Groups
Accountability is the secret sauce of referral groups. Without it, they plummet to the depths and take forever to recover… if they ever do.
In this show, I brought in an accountability expert, Roxanne Caukill, to guide us through what accountability means to her and how it can help everyone in business.
In this episode of The Referral Guy, you’ll learn –
Believe it or not, accountability in referral groups is the glue that makes all other aspects bond together. For accountability to be part of your referral group, you’ll first need to set the group goals and member standards which need to be attained. Then you need to ascertain the consequences for non-compliance with the standards and finally who is responsible for administering those consequences.
A group meeting is required to determine the goals around –
To achieve those goals, what standards of member activity must be set in relation to –
If the standards are not met, goals will not be achieved and members will not receive the benefits they want. Consequently, the group will slowly disintegrate. As members leave, confidence continues to deteriorate amongst the remaining members. So confidence needs to be restored by upholding the standards the group set.
So, in relation to each of the standards, what are the consequences for not meeting the standards the first time? The second time? The third time?
Is it –
This is where Strategic Referral Teams have significant advantages over referral groups from the well-known networking organisations. SRTs set their own standards so the member buy-in is substantially higher. As members own the standards, compliance is less of an issue.
In the well-known networking organisations, the standards are set by the organisation without consulting the members. As the members don’t own the standards, they feel less inclined to adhere to them. Without adherence, referrals drop and the group’s internal accountability mechanisms are meant to correct this situation. This results in one member, who joined to attract referrals, holding another member, who joined to attract referrals, to account.
In short, this puts member against member… not a great environment for exchanging referrals. After all, who wants to pass referrals to other members who are holding you accountable to a set of standards you had no input in establishing?
Which leads to…
Who Administers the Accountability Consequences?
In referral groups owned and controlled by a larger organisation, the members sometimes feel disenfranchised from the start as they did not set the standards they are expected to meet. Yet they are each expected to take their turn on Leadership Teams handing out the consequences for non-compliance with these standards to the other members. Inevitably, at some point these are the same members they are trying to develop referral partner relationships with. This presents an enormous and unavoidable conflict of interests.
No wonder member turnover is high. Holding members to account and developing a referral partnership with them are two mutually incompatible activities. So people leave. A vacancy is then created and the owner of the franchise/organisation receives income from the next member who gets that seat.
ARTA’s Strategic Referral Teams have the option to outsource the administration of the accountability consequences so members are never put in this uncomfortable and unprofitable position. The leadership team of the group still sets the goals and standards, but an external manager is responsible for impartially ensuring the standards are met. This protects the reasons members joined – to attract referrals for their businesses.
What You Need to Do
Accountability is a complex topic. Understanding which standards to set so the goals are achieved takes years of experience.
There are a hundred moving parts in these groups so seek expert help if you have any questions. As a leader, resist the temptation to address all this yourself. You’re highly likely to lose sight of what’s really important – building the relationships that feed your business.
Members of referral groups should never be forced into a situation where they are compromising their own business to administer accountability to their group.
Contact Steve at email@example.com for further information.
Season 5 Show 3 – Leadership – It Matters!
Leadership in referral groups is critical to their success and this means a lot is riding on the President’s ability to engage and lead the group.
Unfortunately, like everyone else in a referral group, members join to attract referrals not to become President or take on any other leadership role.
This means the key positions are almost always held by people who are reluctant to be there.
This show outlines how Presidents in particular can navigate the tricky situations they all too often find themselves in while keeping their businesses afloat.
Season 5 Show 5 – Personality Traits to Select & Against in Referral Groups
In this show, we’ll go around the spectrum to help identify personality traits that are in demand in referral groups. Getting the mix right from the start can help you avoid many mistakes and uncomfortable moments.
Tune in at midday AET to learn the secrets of this fascinating topic so you can sculpt your group to become high performers in the referral stakes.
Your Host and Resource
Hey, I’m Steve Sweeney… The Referral Guy.
Being a Specialist Referral Marketing Trainer provides me with wonderful opportunities to help business owners attract more business by referral. This is one of the most cost-effective methods of marketing as it relies 100% on the quality of relationships you have with people in your network. Once trained, your skills last a lifetime and continue to pay dividends.
The Australian Referral Training Academy (ARTA) exists to teach business owners and sales professionals the art and science of attracting referrals and helps them build their own Strategic Referral Teams (SRT)
Shoot me an email if you’d like to learn more firstname.lastname@example.org
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All IBGR Shows Notes are available for download