My favorite type of prospect is a referral. No big surprise, right?
But I’ve learned a few things about obtaining referrals that you may not hear anywhere else. Most experts will tell you things like:
Just get over your hesitation and ask.
Make yourself referable with outstanding service.
Build the “ask” into your sales process when your client is at the greatest point of satisfaction.
These are all great ideas, and they do work, but those things alone don’t generate the number of referrals I’m after. The truth is most people don’t provide me with referrals because I ask. They provide me with referrals because a friend asked for one or shared a financial challenge with them.
As loveable as I am, they don’t do it for me. They do it for their friend.
So what does that mean? The people most likely to provide me with a referral…
Know someone in need of a specific service I provide.
Think highly enough of my service and expertise to refer me.
Remember me at the very moment the opportunity presents itself.
Find it really easy to refer me.
So knowing all of that, here are a few specific actions you can take to increase your own referrals:
Proactively network with those clients or referral partners most likely to encounter people with the kinds of problems you are equipped to resolve.
Take every opportunity to teach your clients and referral partners specifically what you do, who your ideal prospects are, and how you are different from your competitors.
Consistently communicate your value proposition with a comprehensive marketing plan. You need to keep your name in front of your clients and referral partners, so they remember you when opportunity knocks.
Use newsletters, value-packed emails, and social media to make it easy for others to refer you by simply liking or forwarding your message to friends.
Create a habit of providing referrals to others. Seriously. This is critical. Use your website and social media to promote your referral partners at least once per month. Make it automatic.
Integrate these five simple ideas into your referral plan and watch what happens!
Note: These are the foundational elements of my referral strategy, but I build on these with a lot of other ideas. I learned most of those ideas from my friend and referral coach, Sandy Schussel. Sandy is hosting a free webinar on Thursday Oct 8. Register here.
Written by: Paul M Mallett SVP/COO Postema Marketing Group, LLC
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