12 ways to get more referrals
12 ways to get more referrals
Why aren’t you getting more referrals? You already do a great job for your clients and yet you simply don’t get many referrals. So what’s happening and what can you do about it?
- Build a referrals process
If obtaining referrals becomes part of your normal business process when dealing with your clients and you apply a strong “make the process effective and efficient” mind-set you will grow your referrals slowly but surely by improving the process.
- Firstly ask
It’s obvious if you don’t ask you won’t get. Too many people shy away from asking as they feel it may be a bit embarrassing. You have to overcome this irrational fear and do it anyway. If you have done a good job, your clients will help you provided you ask in the right way.
- Determine the best time to ask
It is important you decide when is the best time in your process to ask for a referral. Studies show that people are most receptive after the service you provide has helped them achieve something. Ensure you set aside at least 20 minutes as part of your client meeting for this process. Build the referral request process into your meeting checklist.
- Get into your clients heads
People don’t refer you because they are nervous that their friend, relation or colleague may have a bad experience. You need to tackle this head on as part of your process by explaining that you will ensure anyone they refer will be treated the same way as the client has already experienced. Explain that it is in your best interest to make sure this happens as if it doesn’t you will risk losing both the new and existing client.
- Show how referring someone helps them
Explain that you depend on existing clients’ to refer new clients so that you can spend more time and effort on improving your service to them instead of on marketing
- Explain how the referral process works
The client gets agreement from the new prospect and then calls you or emails you with their name and number after getting agreement form the prospect. This works a lot better than just giving someone a card to give out. You will always call the new prospect but they may not call you
- Explain exactly the type or types of client you want and ask your existing client who comes to mind that matches that category
Develop a form to use while asking and make a note of the names of people the client agrees they will talk to on your behalf. Explain because you have not asked for the persons number you will not be able to call the prospect until the clients says it’s OK to do so and passes you the contact details.
- Record the names of the prospects in the clients file and in your CRM system
You must develop a separate prospects list in your CRM (customer relationship management) system and keep good records of all contacts and their potential as clients. Make sure tasks and reminders are set up for this in the same way as tasks for clients.
- Email or text your client soft reminders once a month for at least 3 months
People forget. Build a reminder system as part of your get more referrals process to send an email or text with the name of the prospect and simply asking “Have you had a chance to talk to XXXX about our services as yet?”. Having a prospects name makes a massive difference as it is very specific.
- Don’t be too pushy
It’s a fine line between reminding someone a becoming a nuisance. After 3 reminders it may be best to let it go and then pick it up again as part of your next face to face meeting.
- Thank your clients for any referrals made
A small gift merely for making the referral is a great investment. If this is followed up by a bigger gift if the referral goes to business you will encourage further referrals.
- Join a coaching program
There are many subtle nuances that you can use to improve your get more referrals process. A good coach can help you improve the basic details of your process to become significantly more effective. This one area will easily pay for your coaching program by helping you grow your business more profitably. If you get something from this post imagine how much more face to face training will add to the ideas presented here.
Enjoy the journey
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