The Referral of a Lifetime

The Referral of a Lifetime


Tim Templeton

5 Stars!


Super cheesy. Very simple. Those are my second and third favorite things about this book.

My very favorite thing about this book is that it made me dream. Any book that can do that will hold my attention and be remembered.

This is not a sales book.

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I put off reading it because I thought it was and then put off reviewing it because I thought you would think that it was.

This is a book about creating and maintaining relationships in a business setting. It is told as a story and is a very fast read.

I jumped into this system with both feet when I first read the book in 2005. Has it been that long ago??

photo (55)This is a bookmark Abby gave me when I first got the book. It is a picture of me drawn when Abby was 3. I still use it in the same book. It really was that long ago!

I had recently moved back home to Nebraska from Colorado and a veterinary practice I loved. This system – a business built on relationships – seemed to be in place naturally at Companion Animal Veterinary Hospital because of the good men running the place. Perhaps they had actually worked really hard at it? Maybe.

I know Dad has built his whole career around relationships, and it does seem to come naturally to him. I grew up watching Dad work and still admire how he runs his business.

But here was a blueprint! I made my list of favorite clients (Yes, YOU are on it!) – a database as recommended by the author – and my brother Dave made really cute cards with his and Sara’s dog Riley and their cat Abaye whispering to each other. Inside the card says, “Thank you for the referral! Our business thrives because of the kind words of our clients.”  This was PERSONAL.

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Russ and I spent our own money sending clients to the movies as thank you gifts week after week as referrals poured in. I loved it!

I was met with resistance at every turn. I was told, “If I have to hear MY hospital, MY team or MY clients one more time, I think I am going to…” I didn’t hear the rest of the rant. I was thinking, “I meant ‘my’ like ‘my friends’ not like ‘my property.’ You can’t own people! And it’s not my hospital…” When I came back around, that rant was over and a new one had begun. I knew it was the beginning of the end, but the years of resistance training – haha – had been good for me. My beliefs had been affirmed, fire tested and solidified. Relational business was the only way I ever wanted to practice.

Last week, I pulled those thank you cards out of the back of my cabinet (Not MY cabinet, but you know, the one above the desk I use. Oh, yeah, I have issues.) Anyways, I sent the first card I have sent in years to a very kind vet school classmate – Brad Peterson – who had referred a friend to Gentle Doctor who had just moved from Iowa to Omaha. Brad knows my boss Dr. Pete Bashara and me, and recommended that his friend see either of us. I got to see Brad’s friend, who is very nice, and his very sweet dogs, and I remembered how fun that was to do on purpose.

Once again I am at a great practice – one where any doctor and any combination of the team you see is going to be great. Once again, I am celebrated and encouraged with all my quirks and weirdness.

This book has been an anchor as I try to find where exactly I fit best. Career-wise I have found it, and it is good to be back in a great place. It is time to put that resistance training to good use and get back to purposely practicing as I do best. Thank you Tim Templeton for writing this little book. I love it and have read through it several times. It has impacted my career, my outlook and helped form some of my most rewarding business relationships. I will always be grateful for all of that. I think I will read through the book one more time.

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