The litmus test of whether or not you are creating an experience that people find exceedingly valuable is the number of referrals you receive. Acquiring referrals has little to do with how often you ask but how you make your clients feel. And you will receive more introductions if your clients are actually surprised (in a good way) by how they feel about you.

This “surprising experience” is defined by a multi-million-dollar-producing advisor:

“I focus on listening more than 50 percent of every meeting. If I can keep this in check and not talk too much, I know that I am strengthening each relationship while I’m doing my job as their advisor. The crazy thing is—the more I don’t talk in a meeting, the more I can expect referrals from that person. It changes the way they remember me when they walk out of my office. That’s exactly the impact I want to make with every client.”

Standing out from the crowd is not an easy task. But if you focus your time and energy on creating a surprising experience for each client and focus on ways to make your meetings and interactions more about them than about the products you sell, your clients will be eager to share you with others.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.