A few weekends ago, as I woke up in a bed built by a manufacturer my father referred me to, got into a car that “Consumer Report” referred me to, bought a computer that a friend referred me to and went out to dinner to a restaurant that my wife referred me to; I got to thinking “if I buy or use a lot of things based on referrals, then why am I spammed by useless crap?”  I, like you, am the victim of email blasts, and post cards, flyers, telemarketers (even though I’m on “the list”), print ads, television ads, etc.

My favorite ads are those made by local used car dealerships – the one’s where the owner is standing in the foreground talking about how honest, and their 5,000 point validation survey to prove they won’t be selling you a lemon.  But I digress…

The expression “referral based business” has been around since – well, I don’t know how long it has been around, but I do know it’s a long time.  Yet, it is remarkable to me that small businesses do not develop products or services worth referring other cutomers to.  I’m not saying that this is particularly easy, but most businesses would rather be “me-to” businesses and annoy me with flyers and post cards instead of actually sitting down and thinking about making better products, or developing better services.

I want to know, what business or product has made you want to refer it to a friend?