The secret to referrals is that they occur one person at a time. And the truth is that no matter what label you choose, referral, recommendation, testimonial or introduction, the event is just an introduction – the opportunity for 2 strangers to meet.
Regardless of the incredibly brilliant adjectives used to describe either or both parties, the result will be two strangers meeting for the first time.
But I digress. The stranger issue is not the topic today.
The point today is if we want our connectors to introduce us to a prospect, we need to stop asking for REFERRALS and start asking for a referral.
The secret to a referral is that it occurs one person at a time. Therefore, when speaking with your leads group or your current customers or your next door neighbor, ask not for some, ask for one.
Here are two high quality ways to ask for an introduction :  I would like to meet Bill Gates (or any specific individual). Might you be able to help me meet him?  Recently, I completed a project for John Doe, he is a financial advisor with ABC Advisors (use your most recent or most favorite customer). It was a great experience. If or when you might have the chance, might you introduce me to your Financial Advisor?
The truth is all we can do is introduce. We can add a plethora of positive adjectives and adverbs, but the introduction is NOT going to make your sale.
Too many people speak of “referrals” (plural) as the magic formula to success. But let’s be clear. When we speak in plural, we mean more than one of our connections introducing us. We do not mean one of our connections making several introductions.
Should we ever ask one of our connections for the plural, we are asking too much. Instead, ask for ONE – ONE specific introduction to ONE specific person.
Each week if you ask 2 of your connections to introduce you to ONE person, I’ll bet you’ll get more introductions than ever before.
Who exactly would you like to be introduced to?