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Anyone pay a "referral fee"?

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  • Anyone pay a "referral fee"?

    So I got a call today from someone who owns a concierge biz. She said she had a client in one of my areas who was looking for a groomer and this biz lady wanted a "really good groomer" on hand to refer to people. GREAT! I thought. Then she said she expected me to treat them, like she does, "as her best clients"....ok. I do that for all my clients, and they love me. Then she asks for a few references.....ok, no problem. *little red flags are starting to pop up*. At the end of the conversation, she mentions a "referral fee" and then said but we won't worry about that yet, we can just work up a good relationship first....huh??!?
    What the heck?? I'm not paying someone to give me referrals. Referrals come from people who love my product or who have heard about me from those who love my product and that's the type I appreciate. I refer people to other businesses I know and respect and I CERTAINLY don't expect payment in return. That's a bit presumptuous, I think. I'm very cautious about other professionals handing me their card and asking for mine saying we can "have a referral thing going on". Great, how do I know I can feel good recommending my clients to you?

    Anyone else have any experience with that sort of thing? That conversation set my hackles up a bit, as does any that feels too pushy. She emailed a reminder for my references. Should I give them to her still?
    Last edited by RevWind; 03-15-10, 09:26 PM. Reason: typo

  • #2

    Uh tell mis la te da to pay u. Tell her that this is unprofessional and you'll pass on this 1, as most of my 4 legged friends say "BITE ME", but I'm being me.


    • #3
      no....don't do it..I see a lot of issues down the line for you


      • #4
        I wouldn't

        Sounds kind of suspicious to me. I'm sure you will get all the referrals you need without her. She could do you more harm than good.


        • #5
          I agree w/ Randy LaFoy, and to expand...send her your references and ask her when can you expect your first check? (J/Kidden!)

          I've had a couple of those over the years, and once they make their true motivations clear...I just smile, shake my head, and say "Well, as my Mom's always worth asking. But NO".

          You don't need to get involved in that nonsense.
          Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.


          • #6
            Give me a break! She should be paying you as it makes her look good to be able to refer you to HER clients.


            • #7
              These types of things just IRK me.... Everyone always wants something. Regardless, you know most of your referrals are from people that are happy with and LOVE your service. But folks like this, that want to get "paid" for referrals - they can go elsewhere... Sounds like some networking groups I've been involved with in the past..... YUCK!


              • #8
                [QUOTE=RevWind;399179] I'm not paying someone to give me referrals. QUOTE]

                That's why I don't advertise a discount to clients who refer new clients to me. To me it's the same as paying someone to give me referrals. I thank the client and may give them a discount but that is after the fact.


                • #9
                  A different Point of View

                  I have a home-based shop in a rural area and I am in my fourth year of business. I ask each new client how they found out about me and when it's a referral I tell them I willl be giving a $5 referral bonus to their friend. I have gotten great feedback about this. I have one client who doesn't even have a dog anymore that refers all her relatives and clients to me.


                  • #10
                    Giving discounts for referrals is fine in my book. Paying a concierge for referrals is not fine. It shows that the concierge is more concerned with lining their pockets than providing the best services for their clients. It's right up there with homeowner associations and RV parks that only allow "approved" vendors to service their area. It's really easy to get approval, just open your checkbook...WIDE.

                    Tell the concierge to take a hike.
                    "With God's help, all things are possible!"
                    Laura Lee Ray
                    I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on


                    • #11
                      Sounds like somebody

                      was figuring how to make a cheap buck. Then they refer a piranha to you or such just to get the buck. They have things like that for dental and other services but my thinking is I wouldn't trust it. What is said and what is seems like it might be different.
                      Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


                      • #12
                        I probably would tell her...

                        I'd email her back saying that upon reflecting on the conversation, and learning that she somehow expects a fee for referrals, you are not interested in pursuing her "referrals" at this time.


                        • #13

                          don't do it. Just send her an e-mail saying that you'll gladly groom her dog for her, at regular price of course, and she can come up with her own references for your grooming, and then if she is please with your services, she is more than welcome to tell anyone she wants about you, and you will give her $10 off her next groom for every 5 clients she sends your way, provided they all book, and keep their appointments.


                          • #14
                            Thanks all, for the advice. I emailed her back saying thanks, but I'm not interested. If she pressures, I'll just tell her my clients refer people to me because they know and love my service, not because I pay them.