A Coach, a Father, and the Referral Marketer: Seven Creeds That Make a Difference

On Father’s Day, I watched an interview with a fellow dad who, along with his similarly dedicated wife, successfully raised 19 children, most of whom were adopted.  All 19 are now adults and out on their own.  His secret to their family success lies in their devotion to the seven creeds that the father of former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden wrote down for his son when John was only 12 years old. Coach Wooden attributes his career as the most successful basketball coach in NCAA history to these seven creeds. Here they are, written out exactly as John Wooden read them as a young boy on the verge of manhood.
1.Be true to yourself.
2.Make each day your masterpiece.
3.Help others.
4.Drink deeply from good books.
5.Make friendship a fine art.
6.Build a shelter against a rainy day.
7.Pray for guidance, and give thanks for your blessings every day.

After contemplating for several minutes how my wife and I ever managed to raise five children of our own, I turned my thoughts to how the seven creeds could impact the success of the referral marketers I deal with, just as they impacted Coach Wooden and one father of 19.  Call it an occupational hazard, for better or for worse. My conclusions are as follows:

  • #3 is the easy one:  The best referral marketers genuinely like helping their referral partners.
  • #1 is right behind:  Being good at referrals is in many ways an extension of being who you are. Don’t try to appear to others what you are not.  In referral marketing, having no referrals at a given meeting is not a negative reflection of who you really are as a referral partner, and much better than passing along extraneous leads that waste time.
  • What about #2?  Being lucrative at referrals requires a conscious effort to do your best in generating worthwhile referrals, perhaps not every day, but most days.
  • Now for #4: While there are entire books written on referral marketing, there most certainly are countless blogs, eNewsletters, and other easily accessible social media teeming with clever tips and advice that require only your discipline to dive deep and unearth their wisdom.
  • For #5: Make referral relationships a fine art. Put intentional  and strategic time and effort into them; don’t treat them as an afterthought.
  • The shelter reference in #6 is striking.  Having active and vibrant referral marketing relationships can mitigate or buffer those cyclical “downs” in the natural extremes of your sales roller coaster.
  • #7’s religious connotation may be personal, but perhaps the “Golden Rule” applies better in this case.  The quality of referrals you give and the assistance you provide to achieve the best introductions for your referral partners should be like, if not above and beyond, those that you want to receive from them.  We should always acknowledge and thank our referral partners for their assistance.

Please share your comments and ideas as to how Coach Wooden’s seven creeds apply to your referral marketing experiences.  What can you suggest to expand the list to eight, or ten, or more?


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