It’s been almost 10 years since the first edition of Clients By Referral®. While Vue Consulting have a number of other experiences (some still current, some have come and gone), Clients By Referral® has been the most popular experience over those 10 years. As a single experience, it’s also interesting to plot it’s changes as a reflection in learning and development trends.
2007 – ‘By Referral’ is created
Clients By Referral started life as ‘By Referral’ – a half-day workshop for professionals on referral skills. The very first workshop occurred in June 2007 in Brisbane to 14 Private Bankers. The feedback was terrific with participants relishing a new approach to referrals which wasn’t uncomfortable and was focused on the quality of referrals, not just the quantity of referrals. Through 2007, ‘By Referral’ expanded its content, becoming a full-day workshop. It now included content on COI referrals and some initial client referral marketing tactics.
2008 – The Keynote Edition is created
With ‘By Referral’ now expanding, we created a Keynote Edition to introduce the concept in a smaller format. That keynote – called ‘The Secrets of Client Referrals’ – has now been delivered at over 175 events to thousands of conference attendees and remains a top ranking, highly interactive and fun session to open the minds of participants to a new approach to client referrals.Several of the concepts and slides from the first version of this keynote still remain in the 2016 version (although they look a lot nicer now)!
2009 – Blended learning kicks-off
With the By Referral experience now well established, we turned our attention to improving the learning transfer.
- We started by creating online review material to allow participants to revisit core content after their workshops.
- We also added in a follow-up conference call to start sharing successes and overcoming hurdles (and creating accountability).
- Finally, we created our first editions – One-Day and Multi-Day. The Multi-Day edition broke the traditional one-day workshop into two half-days held about a month apart. Participants accessed their online review material and held a conference call with us after each half-day workshops. The Multi-Day Edition quickly became the most popular version…and set the seed for the Virtual Edition a few years later.
2010 – A split occurs!
In 2011, ‘By Referral’ was so full of ideas that we were leaving content to online modules and general reading, so we could still allow enough time for proper learning activities. We ultimately had to split ‘By Referral’ into two experiences…
- By Referral – The final iteration of this experience (and destined to become Clients By Referral within the next 12 months)
- By Alliance – A new experience focused on external referrals from other professionals. This became a unique experience with no real competitors globally. Built upon research data we collected during 2009 and 2010 about external referrals, this advanced experience took on a life of its own. This experience is still available today in a Virtual Edition to clients of Vue Consulting which have completed Clients By Referral.
2011 – Renaming and rebranding
In this year, Vue Consulting completed a branding exercise and unveiled new logos, new names and new processes. It was a big 12 months of redesign six experiences (the two referral experiences plus four other experiences in time management, sales and relationship management).
As a result, By Referral became Clients By Referral® and By Alliance became Build Referral Alliances® with both experiences continuing today.
2012 – Virtual sessions enter the scene
Through 2012 we began exploring virtual training technology, having seen the developments in its use at an AITD International Conference in the US. We started replacing the follow-up conference calls on each training experience with follow-up webinars as we explored limits of the technology.
During 2012 we created our first hybrid online/virtual edition of our sales training experience (Sell With Trust) and were amazed at the response and effectiveness of the training. This was another busy year as we curated content across six training experiences in workshops, online and virtual spaces. It was all becoming too much…
2013 – The Virtual Edition is created
2013 was a turning point.
The Virtual Editions of our experiences were so effective and so rewarding that we decided to focus on those editions. We set-up a dedicated virtual training facility and established guidelines for successful virtual training which we still utilise today. We also expanded our online content to support virtual sessions and agreed our fundamental approach to learning transfer – theory in the online, application in the virtual.
2014 – The end of the One-Day and Multi-Day Editions
2014 was a year of consolidation.
At this point, our Virtual Editions were so popular that clients stopped booking One-Day and Multi-Day Editions. In May of this year we completed our last Multi-Day Edition of a training experience. We haven’t run a physical workshop since. We also narrowed down our range of training experiences to focus – once again – on referrals.
2015 – No more travel!
In 2015 our frequent flyer status crashed. With the Virtual Edition in full swing, our travel dropped significantly. We now only traveled to deliver Keynote Editions. For the first time, we had clients we had never actually met – clients who joined our free virtual sessions or were referred to us, met us in the virtual classroom for a ‘behind the scenes’ tour and then completed the entire training experience without ever physically meeting us.
2016 – The Online Edition is created
After almost 10 years, we have the time, approach and technology to build the Online Edition we have been so often asked about. For the first time, participants can join the Clients By Referral® experience as an individual, at a low cost and in their own time.
Training experiences are never finished. They keep evolving. We have given up saying Clients By Referral® is ‘finished’. While the current Virtual and Online Editions represent the culmination of 10 years of work, there is no doubt that we will continue to evolve our approach to learning transfer and stay at the very edge of training success. Got suggestions about what that might be? Then let us know – we are always looking for ways to make our experiences better.