The absolute best referrals are spontaneous and unsolicited. They are also the rarest.
It’s very difficult to build a successful service business depending upon spontaneous and unsolicited referrals. For the most and best referrals the key is building and maintaining an effective referral system.
Here are 5 guidelines to include in your referral system
Guideline #1: Base your system on creating win-win-win situations
The first guideline is to ensure that your system will create win-win-win scenarios.
Referred clients win in 2 ways:
- Save time in locating qualified service providers
- Less time, stress and hassle
Referrers win because in making qualified referrals, they can provide even more help to their client. As a result of this additional help your referrers can enhance their relationship with referred clients. Invariably, enhanced relationships lead to more repeat business.
Your wins include:
- Low cost, high value marketing
- Pre-qualified leads, prepared to do business with you
- Seal of approval from referral partner: peer recognition
Remember that referrals are about more than just your landing a new client.
Guideline #2: Identify your ideal referrals
When scrambling for new business, the temptation is to ask anyone and everyone for referrals f any kind of clients.
This approach is probably the most counter-productive strategy possible.
Not only will this waste a ton of time and energy, it will generate huge amounts of stress…and even worse handicap your long-term business success. I know…I’ve been there.
When looking for referrals, it’s essential to maintain your focus your ideal clients and by extension…your ideal referral sources.
Guideline #3: Help referrers promote you and make referrals
Keep in mind that the role of your referral sources is to connect you with people they know who represent potentially ideal clients for you. At the very least this involves making the introduction and qualifying you as a good person to do business with.
This would include confirming that as a person, you are honest and trustworthy and that as a service provider, you are competent and capable.
Don’t even think of expecting referral sources to promote your services or close the deal…that’s your role.
Guideline #4: Make direct requests
Direct requests represent the fifth of our 6 referral system guidelines.
As with many aspects of life, business and marketing, timing is everything.
The timing of requests for referrals can and should be systematized.
Ideally, the best time to make requests for referrals is when you are likely to receive them.
Guideline #5: Facilitate and acknowledge referrals
The last guideline is the magic ingredient that converts individual referrals into the ongoing flow of referred ideal clients. As magic as this ingredient is, there’s nothing secret about it.
Facilitating and acknowledging referrals is about applying common courtesy and manners.
This post was based on Lesson 5 of the eCourse THE BEST AUTHENTIC STRATEGIES FOR MARKETING SERVICES.
If you order this course before September 30, 2019, you will receive free access to another eCourse — ATTRACT MORE IDEAL CLIENTS WITH AUTHENTIC MARKETING.
To learn more about this offer, click here.