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Brian Tracy: Two Questions that will Increase Referrals.

‘A few years ago, a man named Fred Reichheld, who works at Bain & Company wrote a book called The Ultimate Question.

I personally believe that this book, and this question is one of the most important discoveries in all the history of management.

the ultimate question

 What Reichheld found with his counterparts over the years, is that the most important single question in business is…

Would you recommend us to others?

It is the key to your success as a person, it’s the key to the growth of a business, it’s the key to everything, because a referral is worth 10 to 15 times a cold call.

And the only way that a business can grow today is if other people say, this business is good.

Theodore Levitt of the Harvard Business School said that:

“The most valuable asset that a company has is its reputation, and its reputation is defined as how it is known to its customers.”

Theodore Levitt | Harvard Business School

How do customers think about your business, your product, and your service and how do they talk about you amongst themselves when you’re not there?

… because this determines your entire business future.

So what Reichheld found was a great question, The Ultimate Question.

The question that determines your success in the future is…

“Based on your experience with us, would you recommend us to others?”

Fred Reichheld

His methodology was simple.

After the customer had been served

… they would ask outright, “how was everything?”

People would say, “fine”, they always say fine.

Then say “on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your experience with us?”

If they got a grade of 9 or 10, what they found that those people would come back and would tell their friends, and even bring their friends

If they got a grade of 7 or 8 (on a 1 to 10 scale), that means that they were satisfied, but they may or may not come back, and they wouldn’t tell anybody.


If they received a grade of 1 through 6,

they became what they called Net Detractors.

Not only were they unhappy, but they would tell other people not to go and see it.


Going to the Movies

If you ever had an experience where someone says, “Did you see that movie?” 

You say, “Yes.”

What kind of a grade would you give it? Five or six? What does that mean? Don’t go.


Going to a Restaurant

If you say that about a restaurant, what kind of a grade would you give that restaurant, five or six?  That means don’t go.

So let’s say somebody gives you a grade,

… it could be six, or seven or eight, and it’s not a nine or 10?  What do you do?

Obviously, you ask…


“What could we do next time to earn a higher grade from you?”

And you know what, customers will tell you do this and do that.

If you do more of this and less of that, if you start doing this, stop doing that, then I’ll give you a higher grade.

And then what do you do?


The Discovery

This is the Discovery… you go and do it.

And then you go back to the customer and say,

“thank you so much for your input, we did what you said. And we’re going to make it a part of our policy from now on, of course, whenever possible.”


Make Happy

Now, the most interesting thing is that customers will make you rich, if you ask your customers, what can we do to make you happy? They’ll tell you. And if you do what makes them happy, they will buy from you again and tell their friends.

So the great question is, would you recommend us to others?

So after you serve the customer, ask them?

“How was everything on a scale of one to 10?” 

If they give you a grade of 9 or 10? You say?

>> The Ultimate (referral) Question <<

“Could you give us the names or would you recommend us to one or two other people who may be interested in our services as well?”

So always ask:

“ Were you happy? Scale of 1 to 10?”

If it’s a nine or 10?

“Could you give me the names of one or two other people who may be interested in our services as well?” 

Very important thing, never say, can you give me some names or some recommendations? Nobody will do that.

One or Two Referrals

But if you asked for one or two referrals, very often they’ll say yes, “I’ll give you the name of this person, and that person”.

But remember…

When a person gives you the name of someone else, they are risking their own personal reputation

By giving you the name, they are turning their friend over to you. If you don’t take really good care of their friend, it’s going to hurt them, their friend will be mad or disappointed at them.

I (Brian Tracy) have had situations where somebody referred someone to me casually, and the person they referred cheated me. And I never trusted that other person who sent me the referral again. I never wanted anything more to do with him, no matter how much he apologized

Well, I’m really sorry, I didn’t realize that person was a crook. And he asked me for a name. So I gave him your name. Sorry baby, I just really not interested in talking to you anymore.

So the key is give really, really good service to your customers, make this service quick and timely.

And ask on a scale of 1 to 10. “How did you like our service?”

If it’s less than nine… “what can we do next time to get a higher grade?” And then do it? And once you get a higher grade 9 or 10 say? “Could you give me the names of one or two other people who may be interested as well.”

And if you ask this question, you will start to get what we call a golden chain of referrals for referral after referral after referral, for the most important thing is to take really, really. good care of your customers in the first place.’

How is Net Promoter Score (NPS) Calculated

Understanding the Brian Tracy sales methodology is the key to generating referral sales. 

The Ultimate Question is a technique any organisation can implement on a one-to-one, or in person basis.

Understanding Customer Mood

However, understanding your overall NPS position is the perfect way to understand the current mood or temperature of your clients.  The ‘Net’ in Net Promoter Score is the balance between your promoters, neutrals and detractors.

Recurring Billing Clients

For those with recurring billing clients such as software-as-a-service companies or real estate property managers, NPS can define exactly where your client base is at in relation to your business.

Scaling NPS Beyond One Customer to Hundreds

The most efficient and effective way to reach and ask The Ultimate Question to hundreds or thousands of people is to use SMS.

As a medium, SMS is unsurpassed when it comes to recipient open rates ensuring better chances of gaining vital feedback, and potential referral customers.

IntelliSMS provides a web based, NPS system using fast and efficient SMS.

Automating Score Replies

Inside the IntelliNPS dashboard, you can set up custom, automatic reponses to what ever number a survey recipient gave you.

Automatic Ultimate Question

If you receive a 9 or 10, the system can respond with an SMS exactly how Brian Tracy would respond in person with…

“Thank you for your score.  Could you recommend me to one or two people that would benefit from our services?”

Score of Eight and Below

As Brian said to scores below 9, you can automate this response

“what do we need to do in order to get your score up to an 9 or 10?”

The Fortune is in the Follow Up

 A lower score and implementing  the suggestions made by your client is another reason to touch base and reconnect.  NPS methodolgy provides the perfect reason to stay in contact.

Respond However Your Choose.

The best part about using IntellNPS is you can automate what ever message you choose and customise the response depending on if the recipient is a Promoter (10-9), a Neutral (8-7) or a Dectractor (6-0).

That way you can use IntelliNPS for any campaign you choose, not just for referrals and leveraging Brian Tracy’s ‘Ultimate Question

Kade Martin
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