Why Getting Referrals Is Only 1/2 Of The Game
Getting Referrals: Every small business owner, marketing person, and professional salesperson knows that one of the greatest ways to grow a business is through referrals.
The problem, though, is that many people fall on their face when they attempt to systematically generate new business by way of referral because, in most cases, they only play 1/2 of the game.
See, there are two very important components in any referral marketing system - Getting referrals (a steady flow of referrals) and actually turning those referrals into clients.
My experience is that most books, courses, tapes, and training on the subject of referral marketing focuses solely on getting referrals.
Hey, if you aren't getting referrals consistently, then you don't have a referral marketing system. But, if you never land any new clients in your referral effort, then you're simply wasting your time.
Tips On Getting Referrals For Your Business...
Briefly, here are some of the key considerations when designing a referral marketing system.
- Getting Referrals: Tip #1 - Expect referrals - make them a condition of doing business with your firm. Set the expectation from the outset. Look your new client in the eye and promise to make their life better. Then, tell them that they are going to provide you with 3 referrals by the end of the month. You'll be amazed at how many will do it. If you wait until later, you are essentially changing the rules of the relationship and nobody likes change.
- Tip #2: Target - You must be able to tell anyone who asks - exactly who makes a great referral for your business, why you deserve referrals, and what you are going to do with that referral.
- Tip #3: Make It Easy - Present your client or referral network member with a very easy way to refer you. Write the letter or referral, create and stamp a postcard that only needs to be addressed by your referral partner, offer to get on the phone with them to make the call.
- Tip #4: Pay-off - Create some form of thank you or recognition and make sure your clients know about it. Movie tickets, flowers, thank you notes and, of course, cash, go a long way towards motivating folks. Don't worry so much about what, just realize that appreciation goes a long way with people.
Turning Referrals Into Clients
Here is where people drop the ball when it comes to getting referrals. The problem stems from the fact that people tend to believe that since Joe referred me then all marketing rules go by the wayside.
In most cases all a referral gets you is a targeted lead who may take your phone call. People want to buy from businesses and individuals that they know, like, and trust. If a good friend referred you than all you have is a little bit of trust. (Unless of course they don't trust the person who referred you.)
If you are serious about getting referrals, then you must still help them understand what benefit you can offer.
Create An Information Product or Service
The greatest way to turn a referral into a great client is through education. Take the time to help your referral prospect understand how they will benefit from doing business with your firm and you will turn many more referrals into clients and customers.
The next time you call up a referral, instead of saying, "Susie said I should call you, when can we meet?" Tell them that Susie felt that your booklet - 10 Ways To Know If Your Remodeling Contractor Is A Crook would be of interest to you and that you would like them to have a free copy.
By starting with this type of education process, giving before you trying to sell anything, you allow your prospect to lower their guard. (Nobody wants to be sold to.)
Trying to close a prospect, even a referred prospect, before they really know what value you can bring is like asking someone to marry you without going on a date. Now you know why it doesn't work.
Adding this 2-step approach to your referral system and you will find that acquire more clients, more referrals, and far fewer headaches over price.
And lastly, have a system.
That's right. Create set steps and then operate those steps just like you would for any aspect of your business.
If you are interested in getting referrals to call you and ask you to sell them your products and services, get this free referral marketing mini course. Highly Recommended!
Insurance Leads Advisor