The Referrals Group
Career Direct (Crown Financial)
Miller-Motte Technical College
Liberty University Bryan College
My early years were spent in a military family. I was born in California but spent time in Texas, Missouri, and Virginia.
We made a final move to Chattanooga, TN in 1978 where I remain a resident. My career path spans several industries to include 12 years Food & Beverage, 11 years Insurance, and the last 13+ years sales, marketing and business development.
I’ve done my time and worked for the corporate gods, but in 2007 my entire career world shifted, and I found myself in an entrepreneurial space I never even fully knew existed or understood. I was hooked and discovered my gifting and calling was connecting people. In fact, I had been connecting people since the 4th grade – I just didn’t know what to call it. I mean, who fully understands the power of connections in the 4th grade?
My mission in life is to transform lives through the power of connections, and that can look like a 1,000 different things depending on who I’m sitting in front of at the time. For me, it’s not about building my own empire, but rather truly listening to a person’s story and then being willing to help connect them to whatever they need to help them take the next step in their journey.
I spent nearly a decade working with the world’s largest referral organization and must credit them for the training I received. However, that model wasn’t sustainable for me or the clients and colleagues I found myself among, so I had to search for a different model, and was ecstatic to find The Referrals Group in 2017.
Sadly, closed-networking and word-of-mouth marketing have developed a bad rap over the years, and I think the reason for that is perhaps because some of those models continue to hold too tightly to traditions and structures that just aren’t working well anymore. When I began noticing the high attrition rates within these settings, I knew something had to change, and I wanted to be a part of that change.
Currently, I operate the Southeast Division of The Referrals Group, and I’m passionate about breathing new life and fresh air into the referral marketing and networking spaces. What we are learning is that structure has seasons. While our true north message should never change, our methodologies must remain flexible because change is a constant in our world. It’s all about connection and relationship. PEOPLE are the structure. Our tribes must become “living stones” which inhabit the message. The sooner we understand this, the more progress we will see.
TRAGEDY AND CHALLENGES
My first challenge was leaving Corporate America and embarking on an entrepreneurial journey I knew nothing about. There were failures and pitfalls along the way, but it’s also where I found my calling and my niche.
Another challenge was a decade-long period where I didn’t think I would ever find light or beauty or success. I went through a bitter divorce, lost several close family members, and then in January 2018 I found my partner dead in our home (we had known each other since 1987). Six months later, the niece of one my best friends was murdered less than a mile from my home, and two weeks after that my very best friend of 30 years died from organ failure due to heart transplant complications. I had only been with The Referrals Group for six months, and my life came to a screeching halt in terms of reevaluating my purpose and calling.
MOVING THROUGH TRAGEDY & CHALLENGES
As of October 2019, my world looks very different. I was determined I was not going to allow the last four decades of my life determine the next 50 years of my life. I clung to my faith in God. I chased healing. I stayed in therapy. I went to a grief recovery class. I taught business at a local community college. I slowly built more Referral Group chapters. I allowed myself to feel the anger and frustration and grief and loss, but I also gave myself permission to change and become a better human being. I took a long hard look in the mirror and admitted the changes I needed to make going forward so that I wouldn’t be in some of the same situations that caused the death of my loved ones.
Today, I blog (https://gingerterrell.com), I adopted the hashtags #fullypresent and #chasingbeauty to define 2019. I also adopted Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Rather than trying to furiously make things happen, I chose to just do the next needed thing and trust God for the results.
HOW I EFFICIENTLY RUN MY BUSINESS
We are The Referrals Group. We started in Kentucky in 2014, expanded to Chattanooga, TN in May 2017, and just recently expanded to the Atlanta market in September 2019. We focus on helping business professionals create teams of referral partners within a semi-structured environment that allows group autonomy and flexibility, which sets us apart from other invitation-only, closed-networking organizations.
I am most proud of the fact that we actually listen to our members to discover what their goal is for their group, and we help them reach that goal within our proven system. We are not here to be the networking police, but rather come alongside each group and help them get better and better at talking about their businesses so when they go into other networking settings, they are prepared to be intentional and curious and stand out from the crowd by knowing exactly who they are and what they are looking for with an attitude of serving others first.
We know entrepreneurs don’t like to be told what to do, ha ha! And we honor and respect that – so we offer structure but not too much structure. We hold you accountable, but with room for life to happen as we know it always will. Groups don’t outgrow us because our system is setup in such a way that our members can grow with us and their group by allowing any needed changes along the way.
Since group meetings have come to a halt, we have manged to help our teams transition into the online spaces via Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. Our members want to stay connected any way they can and are resilient in times of uncertainty.
Ginger, it was so nice getting to know you over the phone. What started out as what would be a quick 30 minute call, turned into hours of great conversation and learning about you on a deeper level! It isn't everyday that I come across someone so transparent and humble like yourself and wanting to help others as well! I appreciate that and I know others do too! Could it be because of some of the tough times/rock bottoms that take place in our lives which help get us on the new and better path? After reading your story several times over and over again, I just realized that around the year 2019 is when you realized that you needed to reevaluate life! Revaluate, examine, dig dipper are all words that coincide with what Check Your Game is about. What I find very interesting with your story is that you reevaluated your life just recently! Why is that important? Because it's never too late for anyone to make changes and reevaluate the path they're on. I'm excited that you then made the decision to cling to your Faith in God and can now understand how you got to a place of more contentment. I would encourage others to reach out to you and see what you're doing with The Referrals Group or just to meet a great contact who might be able to receive encouragement from you! You are a Good One! Thanks again for sharing! Gary Rogers
My business card
The Referrals Group
Networking & Referrals
We are a closed-networking, invitation-only referral organization that thrives on being effective, efficient, and dynamic. We listen closely to our members to discover what their goal is for their group, and we help them reach that goal within our proven system. We come alongside each group and help them get better and better at talking about their businesses with intention and curiosity which helps them stand out from the crowd by knowing exactly who they are and what they are looking for with an attitude of serving others first.
We know entrepreneurs don’t like to be told what to do, ha ha! And we honor and respect that – so we offer structure but not too much structure. We hold each other accountable, but with room for life to happen as we know it always will. Groups don’t outgrow us because our system is setup in such a way that our members can grow with us and their group by allowing any needed changes along the way.
My typical customer
Professionals who value trusted referral partnerships anywhere in the US
Calendar: https://calendly.com/gingerterrell (select 30 minute discovery call)
Visit my website: https://thereferralsgroup.com