Bruce, Lime Margaritas & Golden Eggs
Once upon a time, in a bar far, far away, there sat a lamenting business owner (let’s call him Bruce) who had no idea where his next client was coming from. He had been running his business for years in this manner and after every disappointing social media campaign, newsletter and email blast he questioned the strategy from the experts who seemed to be consistently advising…
“If you just produce a little more content, you will reach more people more consistently. Just a little more content.”
Bruce groaned. “But I’m not a content creator. I don’t know the first thing about putting together a cohesive content strategy and can’t afford to pay anyone to do it for me.”
Nonetheless, he typed and posted and typed and posted and typed and posted and even occasionally paired his words with cute fluffy cat photos and still he received no clients.
Just the odd comment about how cute the cats were.
And lo, the Google Gods bestowed the title Authority upon him due to his prolific posting!
No clients. Just a title. Hmm…
Aah Bruce… his content became the content of his discontent and was even linked to embarrassing bouts of incontinence.
(In this context, incontinence means – content that flows too freely and should have been edited prior to publication.)
So, as his determination to produce yet another post was evaporating and his morale hit an all-time low, he stopped to consider whether he was the right type of person to produce content to attract clients. Or even run a business at all.
Did he have a compelling offer?
Was it being clearly communicated to his target market?
Why wasn’t he winning their hearts and minds?
It was all getting to be too much.
He sipped his lime margarita in a bar far, far away. “Aah… that’s marginally better,” he thought.
Maybe he should throw in the towel and just work for someone who had managed to solve the problems he could not.
Maybe he should accept defeat and get a job using his skills for the people he currently regarded as competitors.
Or, maybe, just maybe, there’s another way…
Many times he’d visited the meetings of numerous large referral organisations and noted how the majority of members did not receive a referral that week. It saddened him to see so many good people being treated like zoo animals, wondering if the system they bought would feed them this week. It always seemed the majority of referrals went to a minority of members.
Nonetheless, there was something there. The kernel of a good idea…
“Maybe, instead of chasing clients, I need to spend time building relationships with people who can send me clients. After all, it’s easier to find referrals for others than to find clients for yourself.”
He lazily stirred his swizzle stick in his lime margarita.
Some salt from the rim snowed on the bar below.
“Y-e-s,” he slowly mumbled. “Maybe I need to find a goose.”
A goose, Bruce?
At this point, Bruce began to tire of the slow-witted narrator who was struggling to keep up.
He quickly assessed his goose options.
“Well, since I’m a graphic designer and the clients I want are business owners, it would seem to make sense to team up with other business owners who service this same target market. Yes… they could become my Gaggle of Geese.”
At this juncture, Bruce realised he may be being inadvertently disrespectful to the people he hoped to be attracting business from.
“Hmm… Gaggle of Geese doesn’t seem flattering as it implies a lot of honking, massive amounts of slippery poo and intimidating standoffs with fearless birds who prefer a good stoush over yielding territory.
“No… no a gaggle won’t do.”
Bruce paused as his eureka moment brewed…
He downed his margarita. Acting as a lubricant, it greased the cognitive cogs which began to whirr as they spun.
“Barkeep!” Bruce called out. “Please supply more joy juice my good man! I’m having an attack of imagination coupled with business acumen and need the additional happy thoughts only your finest lime margarita can foster.”
The barkeep, Reynaldo, (picture Isaac Washington, bartender from The Love Boat) went about his business with the tequila and the Cointreau, the freshly squeezed lime juice and the dash of homemade lime syrup. Then he shook the concoction with the gusto of a man who knew he was in the presence of a genius at work. After salting the martini glass rim, he poured the mesmerising Mexican mix from the shaker and waited.
Like a regally obedient corgi.
For what seemed to be a long time.
A very long time.
And still… nothing.
Tick. Talk amongst yourselves. Tock.
“Um, Bruce. Aah… I’ve got udder customers to serve.”
Without warning, Bruce erupted. “By the powers of Crikey that’s it! You’ve got udder customers to serve! Wonderful! Reynaldo, my good man, listen. I won’t call them a Gaggle of Geese. I shall call them Referral Partners and collect their proactive Golden Eggs!”
At which point, the narrator chimed in with… Aah, Bruce, have you forgotten something?
To which Bruce sardonically replied, “Yes… and they shall collect my Golden Eggs in return.” He glowered at the narrator. “Of course I’ll look after them! Can’t you see I’m having a moment here? Why are you such a funsuck?”
Confused, the narrator quickly consulted his trusty Oxford. There was no “funsuck” entry.
Reynaldo, ever the people-pleaser, now found himself in a quandary of competing interests. You see other customers had gathered at the bar whom he knew he should serve, yet he couldn’t resist the gravitational pull of Bruce and found himself drawn inexplicably to his every utterance.
“Um, Bruce. I loves ya man, but I gots ta prepare elixirs for dem udder folk. Can we wrap dis up?”
“Reynaldo, my good man, listen closely as I will only say this once. In my professional life, I confess to having spent too much time waiting for mere eggs when I should have been meeting the geese who lay the Golden Eggs. And now you and your lime margaritas in this broody bar on Main Street have shown me the light!” He raised his glass and announced to all the patrons… “I drink to the wisdom of Crikey!”
Bruce drained half his next margarita, had a face-contorting winky moment and continued…
“Reynaldo, come closer lest this gets out. I shall team up with an insurance broker, bookkeeper, content writer, SEO specialist, accountant, printer, website designer and a commercial lawyer. They will all provide service of the highest calibre. As we all share the same target market, every customer of theirs is a potential customer of mine and VICE-VERSA, MR NARRATOR! Apologies Reynaldo. He can be very annoying sometimes. Anyway, we shall learn about each other’s businesses and form a formidable referral generation team. You see, it’s the customers and associates each of us already has who will become customers for other members of the team. We shall meet regularly and learn to use referral tools, communication techniques and referral triggers so we can proactively gather Golden Eggs, I mean, referrals, for every member of the team! No longer will we wait like so many members of large referral organisations for occasional reactive referrals to materialise. No! We shall use our relationships, skills and tools to proactively create referral opportunities for each other.”
Bruce paused, happy with his verbal manifesto. He sipped at the remainder of his lime margarita and appreciated, as though for the first time, the tenacious qualities of the Himalayan Rock Salt which still defied the odds by clinging to the rim. Fleetingly, he thought he saw fading image of his old self in a crystal.
Reynaldo? Well, he felt quite out of his depth…
“Um… I also makes killer raspberry daquiris. People tells me dey cure matrimonial love droughts. Know what I’m sayin’?”
And the narrator? He vowed to submit a proposal for funsuck to be endictionaried.
Proactive Referrals – Dependable Golden Eggs that are planned, consistent and the result of quality relationships with trained Referral Partners who operate in a team. You can build a business on these.
Reactive Referrals – Inconsistent, unplanned eggs. They are the result of loose relationships with people who may or may not find themselves in a situation to refer business to you. They are completely out of your control and result in unreliable cash flow. Accordingly, they are difficult to build a business on.
Referral Partners – Geese who lay Golden Eggs