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Johny
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Hi Osmond,

I don’t think its a stupid question at all. I think it is a question from someone who is not sure how to approach it. That’s fair enough, if you don’t ask you don’t know.

I am in the Jenny Spring camp. I don’t thank people for paying me, I thank them for working with me.

I also like to think that, just as I am grateful they work with me, they see some benefit that I provide to them, as well.

A good example, I did a deal for a guy and the goods were damaged in transit. I had to arrange insurance to cover the loss. Next thing I know the customer sent me a cheque for 15% of the total transaction for what he felt was my inconvenience for having to make the insurance claim.

Needless to say our working relationship is great and it has grown outside what it was originally.

I always think that we miss so many opportunities because of the perceptions we have in our heads. As far as I’m concerned, every interaction you do in business should be about generating new opportunities either with existing or new customers.

That doesn’t have to be blatant, and could be anything from having a general chat to discussing future prospects.

I also think that the end of any transaction, the two most important things you can do are-

a) get feedback (and I always stipulate I want good and bad comments) to see what the client thought of your work and

b) ask for referral business. If you feel you have done a good job and the client thinks you have done a good job, why wouldn’t they be prepared to refer you. Word of mouth is the best free advertising you can get so why not push it along a little.

And because they may not know someone who needs your services today, send them a message in 6 months to see how your work has held up….and then ask again for a referral.

Or think about it like this, when you are at a party and someone says they need to get the car fixed, how good do you feel, if you had a good job done by a mechanic, to be able to refer that mechanic knowing it will save them the hassle of hunting one down themselves.

So, why should others be any different.

Asking for referrals doesn’t have to be specifically related to receiving your payment.

My thoughts anyway.