I saw a recent survey done where the author of a book conducted an informal survey of several thousand small business owners.

Unsurprisingly, he found that 63.4% felt that over HALF of their business came by way of referrals. But of that SAME group, 79.9% readily admitted that they had NO SYSTEM of any kind to generate referrals.

This seems weird, right? How can a business owner know that word of mouth is SO powerful and then do so little to take advantage of it?

One of the survey participants said this – “We have trouble getting and asking for referrals from our customers. When we ask, they say, ‘I’ll keep it in mind.’ When we try to offer an incentive, we still get nothing. Because of that, we just don’t ask! I would think getting referrals from happy customers would be easier!

In this survey, participants were asked what seems to get in the way of generating referrals. The answers included, “fear”, “desperation”, and “don’t think to ask” to just name a few, but, in the end, the real reason is the most tragic business reality of all.

What is that reality: You know how powerful a referral can be, but you’re not doing anything worth being talked about. What is really being said is this – “I don’t really have any idea why someone would want to talk about my business.” If YOU feel this way, do you think it’s pretty likely that your staff feel the same way?

So if everyone feels that way, who is the one in your business who is asking for all of the referrals? Sobering, right?