The “Keep Me in Mind” Trap

Keep me in mind

There is very little in life that’s truly predictable. Take your revenue, for example. It’s impossible to know who will send you your next client. Perhaps a referral source will think of you. Perhaps a stranger will Google you. Perhaps an existing client will refer a colleague. Perhaps someone at your firm will suddenly retire and you’ll inherit their spoils. Perhaps not. 

But most of us are counting on something: that short list of people who have referred business to us in the past (and may do so again). Unfortunately, we can’t expect them to refer us work simply by hoping that they “keep us in mind.” 

Consider this: your referral sources may be well intended, but they’re also busy, and if they’re worth knowing, then they have a vast network of allegiances that extend beyond the one you think they have to you. So, take ownership in the matter and maximize the chances that they will keep you on their radar. Put them on a short list and make it part of your routine to engage in meaningful activities that foster a friendship with each one of them. Help them in any way you can and don’t let any more than 3–4 months pass by before you get back on their calendar. 

Following these principles consistently will keep you out of that passive trap where hopes are high, accountability is low, and business is completely unpredictable. 

This is an excerpt from the upcoming book, The Shortlist, by David Ackert, Greenleaf Book Group.