Do you have a referral source that when they give you a referral, the referral comes ready to buy and it’s virtually a closed deal? And do you have other referral sources that when they send you a “referral” it’s not even worth the paper it’s written on?
What if more of the referrals you received were closer to being a closed deal than a waste of time?
There are people who seem naturally gifted at giving referrals. Here’s a revelation, it’s a learnable skill! Every great referral giver has two things in common, intention and effort. They are intentional at wanting to help people and they put effort into the conversation to make sure there is a good understanding of the client’s problem and the referral solution they offer.
If you would like to have your referral sources turn out better quality referrals for you, it’s important to educate them on what they need to know about your business. There are 5 specific steps that, when followed by a trained referral source, makes it so much easier for them to refer you. If they have the intention and are willing to make the effort, these 5 steps will be the secret sauce to make the referrals golden!
Step 1: TRUST When it comes to having someone doing something for you, the first step is always earning their trust. Would you put your reputation and relationship on the line referring someone you do not trust? NO! So why should your referral source do that for you? Do not expect referrals until your sources feel you are trustworthy enough to handle the referral professionally and with a level of integrity and service. Caution! Don’t assume just because you’ve known someone for a long time that they trust you enough with a business referral.
Step 2: BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE A referral source needs to know enough about your business to recognize if they are standing in the middle of a referral for you. Do they know how to identify if someone is in the need of your product or service? What can a referral source look and listen for? What does your ideal client look like? How do they start a conversation on your behalf?
Step 3: ASSESSING THE NEED It’s not enough to just identify a potential referral, you want your referral source to ask follow-up questions to really hone in on their specific need and level of interest. Asking questions will allow them to uncover any fears or objections in moving forward and make sure they are sending the referral to the right type of business. For example, a person could be complaining about wanting to lose weight. By asking questions you can find out if they are actually serious about losing weight, and how they want to tackle the problem. It could be a referral to a personal trainer, a nutritionist, or even a hypnotherapist!
Step 4: OFFERING A SOLUTION This is the step where your referral source will share about your services. It’s not enough just to say, “I know someone, here’s their card.” To really get those ready-to-buy referrals, the referral source needs to share why to choose you over the competition, why you are the best solution to their specific problem. You are not the only person in your field, it’s vital that your referral source is able to share compelling information that will make the prospect feel like YOU are the person they want to talk to.
Step 5: EXPECTATIONS FOR THE APPOINTMENT A spectacular referral source will not just make an introduction, they will set expectations for the appointment. This means they will share what to expect during your first appointment, as if that appointment is already scheduled. In order to do this, they need to know the framework of your first appointment so that they can set realistic expectations that will ease the buyer’s mind and have them looking forward to meeting with you.
Referrals are a great source of business, especially for small business owners. In fact, most small business owners rely on referrals for their business and yet have no plan in place to make referrals happen proactively and consistently.
If you are looking to build your business based on referrals, make sure you put a plan in place! Do you have trained referral sources? Are you a trained referral source? Remember, referral marketing is just like all other marketing, it requires strategy and consistency. The difference is referral marketing tends to be more fun because you’re doing it with other like-minded business owners, and more profitable because the closing percentage is much higher!