Ho-Hum. Another day at the office, waiting for a potential customer to call or come in. Hmmmm.
What would your business be like if your current customers were enthusiastically rounding up prospective customers for you? How difficult would it be to close those sales?
So why aren’t your current customers bringing you referrals? Perhaps it’s because you have not instructed them, motivated them, made it easy for them, asked them or initiated the process.
Getting referrals requires planning and preparation. Start by making a list of all the people who might be a referral source for you. These may include people you do business with, such as your banker, accountant, attorney, printer, consultant, broker, and so on.
You’ll have better results by developing stronger relationships with a few referral sources rather than shallow relationships with lots of sources.
In order to help your Referral Partners give you good, qualified referrals, you need to get crystal-clear about what you are looking for. What types of people/organizations make the best customers for you? Are there any geographic limitations? How about size or volume requirements?
Your Referral Partner has surely developed valuable relationships over the years and will be most reluctant to do anything that might jeopardize those relationships. A simple, step-by-step process that shows how you will represent yourself (and your Referral Partner) will provide assurance that the potential customer will be treated with respect and dignity.
Next, discuss the specific actions you want from your Referral Partner. Do you want them to call the potential customer? What do you want them to say? Would you prefer they arrange a three-way appointment? Often, people want to give you referrals, but don’t know exactly what to do or how to do it. Train them; coach them; help them get clear on what’s expected of them.
Once you get a referral, be sure to show your appreciation. Behavior that is recognized tends to be repeated. Showing your appreciation is not only the polite thing to do; it is also a smart way to encourage more referrals.
Bottom line; developing and implementing an effective referral strategy can produce a steady stream of new business for years to come. You can achieve your professional goals faster and easier through effectively targeting referrals. Start today.