Every small business owner, marketing person, and professional salesperson knows that one of the greatest ways to grow a business in 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 componants in any referral
marketing system – Getting 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 markering focuses soley on getting
Hey, if you can’t get any referrals, 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
Briefly, here are some of the key considerations when designing
a referral marketing system.
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.
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.
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, offer to get on the phone with them to make the
Pay-off – Create some form of thank you or recogniation 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
the most from their referral efforts. The problem stems from
the fact that people tend to beleive 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
You must still help them understand what benefit you can
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.