January 21, 2012

My friend, Chef John Kalfayan, suggested I post this section of the book "Million Dollar Referrals" to my site for your insight. This highlights a portion of the value my efforts bring to bear on a clients situation.  My hope is this provides you guidance in your efforts and growth success.


As Published in Million Dollar Referrals by Alan Weiss, PhD
Tim Forrest’s  Greatest Referral
The Success of a Referral
My greatest referral resulted in more than a decade of business, millions in sales, trips to the beautiful Caribbean with an apartment overlooking the beach, and I gained a friend in the process.
It all started with a simple comment, “Tim, a friend is in the process of planning a new food enterprise in the Caribbean and needs help. Why don’t you call him?”
I was excited for many reasons regarding this conversation with Jim. He was then controller at a Borden facility and we were improving the business from losing more than a quarter a million dollars per month to finally making money.
Jim provided the initial phone introductions and gave me the contact information to Joe Melendez. It turned out that Joe and I had worked for the same company years before and hit it off immediately. We talked about his ideas and opportunity and he provided me full access to his situation and needs. We were able to achieve many things working together including landing the Kmart snack bar business and Chili’s Restaurant contract.
Trust, Relationship, and Value
Trust was the main ingredient in gaining this referral. Jim trusted that I might assist his friend in the Caribbean. Joe also had a feeling of trust that my involvement would somehow help his business prosper. These feelings of trust paved the way of our relationship and the exchange of information back and forth that resulted in success that did not come for several months after the initial introductions.
In this on-going exchange of information, we were able to find value in my offerings and after a period of many months shipped the first container of product to his food company. That first cargo container turned into another and then another as we grew the business together. The millions in business did not occur overnight and we had many issues to battle and resolve together. Fortunately, the trust and our relationship stayed intact as we worked to provide service to the Caribbean food enterprise and only my second client in my then very young company.
Learning’s
The most important component to gaining and then growing this piece of referral business was the trust and on-going relationship with all the contacts involved.  The trust opened the door for Jim to refer me to his friend in the Caribbean. And the trust of Joe allowed me to demonstrate and add value to his food enterprise with new products and methods of doing business.
Develop relationships of trust and bring value to interested parties.  This is the basis of great referral business and everyone has the ability to develop these basic skills if they so choose. It might seem too simple a formula but trust builds the path to success.
Tim Forrest
Tim Forrest Consulting
620 Sea Island Road
St. Simons Island, Georgia  31522
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