Last week we had friend of the community and Referral Coach, Stacey Brown Randall, in to discuss how to create a process to generate more referrals with a group of Acumen CEOs and owners.

Just like you have a marketing, sales, and prospecting plan, you need a referral plan; a plan that focuses on taking advantage of your current relationships that refer you business. Seems logical, but why?

In the discussion, she asked a question that shifted the mindset of the room.

“How many new clients do you need a year?”

The answers were fascinating.

Construction Industry: 5

Specialty Insurance: 12

Search firm: 6

Business Service: 20

What? Most businesses and business development executives only need 1-2 new clients a month? Wow.

What if half of those clients came from referrals? Wouldn’t you like more low barrier, high trust, problem in hand, ready to buy prospects? Me too.

A referral is a personal connection that can identify a need and facilitate an introduction to help both parties win. The two keys are a personal connection and can recognize the need.

If you are like me, you do well helping connections understand what you do to qualify a need before they make an introduction. If you are also like me, you are bad at the personal connection part. Sure, I might say thanks via email or shoot them a quick text, but will that help solidify our relationship and create top of mind to generate more referrals?


If you could use a new client per month, implementing a referral makes sense because of the impact it can have on your business.

Where do you start?

According to Stacey, step one is to identify your referral sources. Do you track them?

Right now, write down whom you think are your top three referral sources. Now, and this can be the hard part, go to your CRM or have someone pull all the deals you’ve started in the last three years and see where the leads came from. Were they outbound, inbound, an online lead, a referral? If they were referrals, are the people who referred you the same as who is on your list?

I was surprised when we did this. Our top referrers via the data were different from those we felt were our top. This is common. The data doesn’t lie. Once you know who your referral heroes are, you can begin to develop a plan.

What’s next?

Check out Stacey’s 5 steps (no we’re not getting paid to say this) but we are being a good referral source for her! She helped Acumen put our program together.

Check out Stacey’s new Book. Both are great starters to getting to your goal of the best kind of new prospects, referrals!

Dan Cooper
Post by Dan Cooper
October 25, 2018
Dan Cooper co-founded ej4, a video-based online training company, in 2003, and was its CEO until selling in 2012. During his time with ej4, he grew the company from a startup to a nationally-recognized firm, serving clients including Pepsi-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Honeywell, Monsanto and Syngenta. Channel partners included SAP and Oracle. As of the 2012, ej4 was serving 1,000+ customers, delivering millions of program views, was highly profitable and debt-free. Today, he is the CEO of Acumen, a mastermind community platform built for CEOs and Owners of strong and growing companies. He and his wife, Ali, have three children and attend Cure of Ars church in Leawood, KS. Dan enjoys running, all things soccer — coaching, playing and watching —and burning all types of meat on the backyard barbecue grill.