any successful entrepreneur or professional
understands, it’s not only what you know,
but who you know that drives your success.
Gaining referrals is a logical step for many
people who want to move their businesses to
the next level. Referrals are often a critical
component of most companies’ sales and marketing
I talked to a new sales professional that
played everything by the book. From greeting
the prospect with warmth and heart to asking
each one for at least three names of individuals
he or she thought might be interested in learning
about the services she offers. While the prospect
she met with did not buy her services, one
of the three individuals that prospect gave
her did. This Sales 101 tactic paid off handsomely
with a one million dollar deal in less than
we are not here to say you will earn a million
dollar deal inside of seven days, it’s important
to keep referral basics in mind when you want
to add to the bottom line.
the Golden Rule. Do unto others as
you would have them do unto you. When it comes
to referrals, it is important to reciprocate
the gesture, but keep in mind that quality
is just as important as quantity. Just as
you would not like to waste time with a poor
prospect for your business, don’t fall into
the trap of referring for referral’s sake.
Take your time and learn what a good prospect
is and then be diligent about referring those
people to your contacts.
creative. Each person is motivated
by different things. While a “finder’s fee”
is motivating for one person, a sincere “thank
you” may be just as motivating for another.
Think of creative ways to encourage colleagues
to refer business to you. From posting a list
of referrals in the lobby of your office to
printing them in your newsletter, creative
ways to encourage referrals are abound. These
types of tactics work because they remind
others that you welcome referrals and that
you reward their actions by publicly thanking
sincere and appreciative. A handwritten
note or a personalized email can be just as
sincere as a thoughtful phone call. Sincerity
shines through in the smallest of gestures.
When thanking others for their referrals,
be sure to ask what you can do for them in
return. More often than not, the person asks
for nothing in return, but generally will
not forget that you asked.
and ye shall receive. Sometimes people
have no idea you are looking for more business.
As crazy as this sounds, it is true. Most
business owners who actively ask for referrals,
receive them. One way to keep referrals front
and center is to put a referral plea on the
back of your business card. Another way is
to thank people for referrals by printing
it on your letters. A simple statement such
as, “We appreciate your referrals” is all
it takes to convey your message.
value. The best time to ask for a
referral is when you are delivering value
to your client. Ask the client if they are
happy with the service or product you have
provided, and then follow up by asking if
they know two or three people who like them,
would appreciate the way you’ve delivered
on your service promise.
an offer. Some companies send thank
you gifts such as wine baskets or company
clothing. Others offer free services, free
product or other extended services for referrals.
Do what fits your company and referral sources
are one of the easiest ways to tap into your
loyal customer base. Put your creative thinking
cap on to garner the referrals you deserve!