Creating a Referral Strategy for your business.
Referrals are like gold dust !
They are much more powerful than all of the leads created through telesales, social media or your website.
If you think about it, having a happy and satisfied customer champion your product or service and then introduce your brand to others is a strategy worth spending time on.
Its fantastic when I get a call that starts with Jo from ABC suggested I call you.
You are starting from a place of immediate trust and credibility.
The decision-making process is typically 4x faster.
Price is rarely a stumbling block, because this customer has a higher value on trust.
How to ask for a referral.
Firstly you will have earned the right to ask, because your existing customer is very happy and satisfied with your work.
Here are four attributes you need to build in order to become referable. Consider each and ask the question in what areas can you improve so you are referral ready.
You need to be trustworthy
Referrals are a transfer of trust. This takes time and will only succeed if you have built up reasons to be trusted.
Have you kept your promises explicitly?
Have you gone the extra mile for that client?
Do they view you as an extension of their team?
Are you a trusted advisor?
If so, you stand a good chance of being referred.
You need to be different
There has got to be solid points of difference between you and your competition.
If the only difference is price, you have some work to do.
To identify your difference, look at your testimonials, how are clients describing their experience with you.
You need to be valuable to their business
Customers need your product or service as they have a problem that needs to be fixed or they are looking for some improvement.
Being considered by your clients as someone who solves problems, will be considered as high value.
You need to be liked
Its an old saying ‘’People buy people first’’. Focus on building rapport, which in time builds confidence in you, which then equates to trust.
Think about it; would you trust someone you didn’t like? It’s doubtful.
These four points are all about you. If you can be trusted, are seen to be different, offer value and are likable, it creates the foundation and opportunity for your customers to give you referrals.
How confident do you feel in asking for referrals?
If you’re like most salespeople that I meet, the answer will range from ‘not very comfortable to OK.
Yet 90% of happy satisfied customers said they would give a referral and only 11% of sales people ask.
Some tips to make the conversation easier
- Replace referral with a request for help.
- Step out of your own way and start the conversation, overcome your own fear.
- Consider all your referral sources.
- Use LinkedIn and be specific with your request for help.
- Make it easy for your client, suggest some industries you are interested in.
- Ask on completion of your project, the longer you leave the request the more unlikely it will happen.
- Consider referrals as part of your sales process.
- Identify clients, be specific and ask your current customers or your network.
- Discipline and commitment = success.
Earn the right to ask, by providing a fantastic service, make it easy for customers to do business with you, provide value by being that trusted advisor.
“THE PURPOSE OF A BUSINESS IS TO CREATE A CUSTOMER WHO CREATES CUSTOMERS.”