By Maribeth Kuzmeski
Performance alone seldom gets you the number of referrals you deserve. The reality is that even when accounts are performing well, clients may still not refer to you. The real key may be simply listening just a little bit more to your clients.
In the book, Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, a study is referenced that was done to find out why some medical surgeons never get sued. When looking at surgeons and their practices, they found that the surgeons that didn’t get sued spent on average 3 MINUTES LONGER with each patient. And, during those 3 minutes, the surgeon reportedly just listened. Interestingly, if something went wrong the patient still sued, but it was the Internist, Radiologist or someone else that would get sued, not the surgeon. The patient actually liked the surgeon. When the surgeon listened he was silently yet clearly telling the client, ‘I think you’re important enough for me to take a few minutes to hear what you have to say.’ Ultimately, we don’t sue people we like. We also will do business quicker with people we like. And, we refer others to those we like. Can we deduct then that if we are good listeners we will gather more referrals? When we look at top performing practices, it’s probably not a coincidence that more than 50% of every meeting is spent listening!