(This blog was originally posted on June 14, 2016)
|Photo by Rick Hustead|
Recently, I had to take my cat to the vet. Her regular doctor was on vacation, so a new, per diem veterinarian examined her. At first I considered postponing the appointment until our regular vet returned, but I quickly rationalized that it shouldn’t really make a huge difference which veterinarian in the practice we saw. I knew that Dr. McFarland would not have hired someone who didn’t have the skills (veterinary and people) to do a good job for her regular clients and patients. I trusted her, so I was willing to give the new doctor the benefit of the doubt.
That is basically how referrals work, as well. As I mentioned in a previous blog titled My Professional Network Group, I am a member of a professional group that meets for lunch each week to promote personal and other members’ businesses. Word-of-mouth is an excellent way to get new clients because these individuals are more likely to take a chance on a person or company who is recommended by another person/vender they know, trust and are already doing business. One of my good friends and fellow Network Referral Group partner, Jennifer Lamm, is a mortgage broker with The Loan Gallery. Virtually every one of her clients has been referred to her by another client, whether it is a friend, relative, co-worker or another NRG member. The first time I ever had a chiropractic adjustment was when I met Dr. Brian Wildemuth, a chiropractor, about 10 years ago. He is another NRG member/group founder. My former riding instructor at the time kept urging me to get a chiropractic adjustment to help improve my posture on my horse. Several friends in the group saw Dr. B. regularly for adjustments, so I finally decided to give it a try. Now, I can’t believe I waited so long before I ever tried it, but it was definitely my friends’ encouragement and recommendations that sent me to his office that first time.
Our willingness and even preference to participate in various activities is founded on those early-life experiences—theory of mind—that helped to create our subconscious mental script. What feels comfortable? What feels “safe” (known)? What do you like (or dislike)? During early childhood, a primary caretaker (usually mom) has the most influence on our behavior in terms of helping to form our suggestibility. At around eight or nine years old, the secondary caretaker (usually) dad becomes more influential, as can teachers and peers/colleagues, etc. A successful, long-term (romantic) relationship is based on various qualities; trust, mutual respect, good communication and liking the other person also feature in other types of relationships that can influence behavior. Have you ever taken the advice or recommendation of a friend or colleague to listen to a new band or try a food you have never had, let alone thought of eating, before? Have you ever accepted an invitation to attend an office party with your spouse for one of his or her colleagues without knowing many or any of the other attendees before you arrive? All of these are examples of referrals, too.
The more comfortable we feel with/trust someone, the more suggestible we become to that person and the more likely we are to be influenced by him or her to change, try or even adopt a new behavior.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.