I often have reps tell me in a perplexed state, about a kind of customer they have who actively promotes the product to her friends, sometimes referring several customers per week.
But, when the rep suggests she sign up and so she can earn something for her referrals, this gal is adamant: “NO, THANKS.” She then adds that she’d stop referring customers if she got paid for it.
She prefers being a connecter or maven for the fun and satisfaction of it, the way Malcolm Gladwell described such people in his best selling book, The Tipping Point. Have you come across anyone like that in your business?
In their super book, Freakonomics, the authors report a research study done some years ago that pitted a moral incentive against an economic one. They wanted to learn about the motivation behind blood donations. Here’s what they found:
“When people are given a small stipend for donating blood rather than simply being praised for their altruism, they tend to donate less blood. The stipend turned a noble act of charity into a painful way to make a few dollars, and it wasn’t worth it.”
The money ruined it. Giving for free and getting the charitable deed rush felt much better.
About 7 years ago when I set up my affiliate program for my books and CD programs, I received emails from old customers who said they’d rather not become an affiliate, because they didn’t want their recommendations tainted by the fact that they were getting paid for them.
Moral: Don’t push people like that to sign up for the business. Getting paid for their recommendations will ruin it for them, and they’ll stop making them. Remember, that’s their worldview. Be grateful and accepting. There are more people like that out there than you may think.