Different Will Get You Referrals, Better Will Not

…there is a cap on “better” and an easier entry point in “different” or “novel.” -Alan Weiss

If you want to increase the number of referrals you receive, being better than your competition won’t do it for you.

Referable means remarkable, as in “inspiring people to remark on you.” First of all, everyone tells prospective clients that they are a better choice than the competition. So, being better will not cause people to remark about you to their friends. If you can be better in some way that can be quantified you may be able to persuade people to choose you over the competition but you won’t get them talking about you.

Telling people you are better is another way of telling them there is very little difference between you and the other.

Being different has a better chance of getting people to tell other people about you. Mike Michalowicz  recently blogged that different, regardless of how it is different, gets noticed. Different as in you have an expertise others don’t have, access to resources others do not offer, or offer a unique experience when working with you. Different as in “I haven’t seen this before” or “I didn’t know someone could help me with this.”

What skill can you develop or do you have that makes you different? What can you offer your clients that is different? How can your client experience be different? An answer to any of these will get your clients talking a lot more than “good” or even “great” and definitely more than “better.”

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