It’s like any other relationship. When you find out someone you have an agreement with cheats on you, it hurts. Ha! Who are we kidding? It pisses you off far beyond driven. Then, after the anger subsides and you start to chill, you start wondering what you did wrong to lose their loyalty.
I’ve cried more over losing some of my referral sources than I have losing women I loved. Play with my emotions but don’t play with my money. I’ll lose my dammed mind if you control and hurt them both. I’m sure all of us can agree we feel the same about that.
So what do you do when you catch your referral partner doing business with a competition?
Let’s take some time to explore some options and potential outcomes first, then I’ll share what advice I have on the subject. I’ve not lost a lot, but I’ve learned a lot from the ones I have lost. Let my hard lessons be the easy escalators to your success.
The first thing, is don’t make assumptions. Sometimes, like in the real estate business for example, the client controls who they get a mortgage from. Occasionally Agents have to do business with people who aren’t “their guy” but not by choice. The same goes in any profession.
Not jumping to conclusions is huge too. What if you draw the wrong conclusion? This could leave you looking like an over possessive ape who can’t get control of your emotions. Take time to investigate what’s going on and the reason why they are using someone else.
It’s not always you. Sometimes it’s them. Either way, if you’re losing them completely you have two choices. Offer above and beyond what the competitor offers them, or move on and be thankful for the business you DID get from them. Some relationships are for a reason, some for a season and almost none for life.
Sometimes it IS you and you know it. Just like losing your girl if you don’t show her the right attention, you can lose your referral source too. Don’t get cocky. You own no one and they owe you nothing. If you screwed up and you know it, you might just have to do what you need to do and beg them to take you back. You screw up, you need to man up.
Now that I’ve listed some scenarios and outcomes, let’s talk about what really needs to be done. Really the only thing you can do. You already know what I’m going to write, before I write it too. Don’t you? Of course you do.
You got to man up and ask them why
I’m not saying call them out. That rarely works. You can’t hate someone into loving you. It don’t work. Ask any Jerry Springer Show guest lol. You got to find out why they cheated, what YOU did or didn’t do to cause it and you have to make a decision as to whether you’re willing to fix it once they tell you.
You can’t create a hostile environment for them either or they won’t give you the real reason. If they think you’ll get mad and explode, they’ll give you the reason they think you want to hear, in order to chill the F out. You want to be cool, calm, empathetic and genuinely seeking to improve.
Don’t be afraid to let them know you’re hurt. Nothing wrong with being real and honest with them. Matter of fact, so few people are real and honest these days, that it might just be the key to winning their heart/business back. Honesty and empathy are so rare these days, it’s a blast of fresh air coming from someone. Even in what may be an awkward situation.
What happens when they say your competitor is cheaper, better, faster, bigger or whatever? What if they break up with you after “the talk”? I mean it’s always a possibility. They could get caught and end it. They could straight up tell you they got a new (sales)man!
If you’ve overcome their objections and they still ain’t having it, the only logical thing to do is punch them in the f#cking face. Just kidding, never resort to violence. What you do is ask them who they know that you could meet who would be a good replacement. Be bold, be calm, be direct, but ask.
Showing them right there and then that you are moving on and already looking for a new partner to date might make them realize they didn’t end your career. They are also highly likely in that conversation to send you a referral to someone new. If they want to get rid of you for real, what better way than to pass you on.
If you are passed on, here’s the ONLY thing you need to focus on with the new partner. Making them better than the old one! Make them miss you. Show them your value. Go right after them and the person they cheated on you with and crush them in your marketplace.
Do it cool. Do it professionally. Do it relentlessly.
Don’t let up until they come running back to you begging for you to take them back. At that point it’s your job to keep them as a side b!tch and reward the loyal person you’re crushing it with. Sometimes you gotta remind someone. Sometimes they forget.
It sucks when you get cheated on. We’re salesmen though. It’s part of our game. There’s always someone willing to step up and do something you don’t. Innovation drives our industry. It’s best to arm yourself with the best sales tools possible.
If you’re looking for more personal help, fill out the form below and we’ll set up a time to talk about how what I sell can benefit you. Do NOT waste my time. Only fill out the form if you are serious about investing in yourself. I’ve got tons of free stuff on this site. The form is for the serious only.