Referral marketing leads to few – if any – overnight success stories. In fact, the most crucial part is building relationships, which takes a lot of time and effort. However, when you've taken the time to build the right referral relationships with the right people, and you are able to understand each of their behavioral styles, these long-term relationships will be a huge part of your referral marketing business.

Of course, it’s really important to understand your own behavior style before you can go any further. After much research and working with experts in the industry, we’ve identified four key behavioral styles that people can fall into.

No. 1: Nurturer
If you are slower-paced and people-oriented, your style is most likely NURTURER. 

Nurturers tend to be caring, thoughtful people who enjoy helping others and strongly dislike confrontation as they do not like to hurt people’s feelings.

No. 2: Promoter
If you are fast-paced and people-oriented, your style is most likely PROMOTER.

Promoters tend to be gregarious, fun people who enjoy excitement and the spotlight and are very concerned with people liking them.

No. 3: Examiner
If you are slower-paced and task-oriented, your style is most likely EXAMINER.

Examiners tend to be very methodical, process-oriented people who enjoy completing tasks and dislike anything with too much hype that is not based on facts.

No. 4: Go-Getter
If you are fast-paced and task-oriented, your style is most likely GO-GETTER.

Go-Getters tend to be very driven, challenge-oriented people who enjoy winning at everything and strongly dislike being wrong about anything.

For the most part, your behavioral style is determined by what motivates you. Motivation is defined as the biological, emotional, cognitive or social forces that activate and direct our behavior.

Put simply, it’s the reason why you act the way you act.  

Why did you get out of bed this morning? What made you wear those shoes today? What has you going 75 mph in a 55 mph zone? What makes you attracted to that particular business person? What makes you choose to go to that networking event? Why did you want to talk to that person and stay away from the other one?

Motivation can be very tricky to understand. Humans are incredibly complex on one hand but on the other hand so easy to figure out when you understand behavioral styles.

When you think of what motivates you, it can be a multitude of things. Some motivation is a temporary situation. Say you don’t enjoy numbers or accounting, yet at the end of the month you want to receive your paycheck. You may be temporarily motivated to do the accounting necessary to generate the paycheck.

However, if you thought about a career in accounting, it would make you sick to your stomach. Many people make an incredible living in this profession, so obviously you wouldn’t die if you had to do that forever. But you are definitely not motivated to work with numbers on a regular basis.

The motivation that we would like to discuss now is the “how you are wired” variety. It’s a motivation that may have been with you forever.

If you’re a parent, have you ever noticed that your children are “wired” differently? Did you notice what motivated them before they could even speak? Did they want independence or to hold their own things? At times did they seem to not need you?

Or maybe your child had a knack for taking stuff apart and putting it back together, had to have 12 toys to play with to be happy or maybe they simply wanted time with you. Can you see how this is related to the four behavioral styles?

The independent baby could be the Go-Getter. The baby who is taking everything apart and putting it back together could be the Examiner. The baby who has to have 12 toys to play with or they get bored could be the Promoter. The baby who just wants time with you to feel safe could be the Nurturer.

As you might imagine, it’s not so simplistic that every person in 100% one style or the other. It’s in our nature to be a blend of all four styles, but most people do tend to display one style more prominently than the others. And the same is true for me…

Ivan the Go-Getter

When I was 11 years old, I missed the bus to school one day. The school was only two miles way, and I had time, so I started walking. Along the way I passed a gas station that had a small store attached to it. My eye caught some beautiful lollipops – big, red strawberry-flavored suckers. They only cost a nickel (I’m probably aging myself with that information!) so I bought 4-5 of them and headed on to school. A friend saw what I had and asked if he could buy one. I said sure – for a dime. He bought it right away! That day I sold all the lollipops but the one I kept for myself…and I saw a great business opportunity.

The next day I walked to school again, this time buying a dozen lollipops. I sold them all before school let out for the day. I did this the next day, and the next…for almost a month, very happy at my markup and the money that I was starting to see growing from my lollipop enterprise.

Then one day, I got called into the Vice Principal’s office. He asked me if I were selling candy at school. I said yes, indeed! – and started to share with him the exciting story of how I was doubling my money. Before I could get very far, he interrupted me to say that I was not allowed to sell candy at school, and that if I continued I would be expelled! I was shocked. In fact, I immediately thought of the many fundraisers I had already seen at school by that time, which sold – you guessed it – candy. I asked the vice principal why it was okay for candy to be sold at school for fundraisers but I couldn’t do the same thing. His only answer was a cryptic, “It’s different.”

That was my first experience in business and even though a “government regulation” shut it down after only a month, it was obvious from that early time in my life that I was a Go-Getter.

Called the "father of modern networking" by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author.  He is the Founder and Chairman of BNI (www.BNI.com), the world's largest business networking organization.  His book, Room Full of Referrals, can be viewed at www.IvanMisner.com. Dr. Misner is also the Sr. Partner for the Referral Institute (www.ReferralInstitute.com), an international referral training company.