On Tuesday, Darcy told you about the leak in your business that is causing you to lose customers (and money) without you even realizing it. (If you missed it, you can read Is Your Business Leaking Profits? here.)
A popular response to this is: “Why aren’t I getting referrals?”
The short answer is that you are most likely using networking strategies or salesman techniques that just don’t work. This is completely understandable. It’s what we observe over and over again.
For example, you go to a meeting with a networking opportunity. What do you do? Typically you give your 30-second “commercial” and you exchange business cards, right? I mean that is what we are taught to do.
And sure you’ve learned some good strategies from GKIC so you are more effective than the average person. You know better than to be “one of those annoying salespeople” who just goes around trying to peddle their wares to anybody and everybody. In fact, you know a great deal more. You know how to target your ideal prospect and have an offer on the business card you give out.
So what gives?
Well, there could be a few reasons such as forgetting to ask, focusing on the wrong people, having no systems in place, or putting pressure on customers unknowingly.
Here are five things you can do to increase your referrals.
1) Focus on the right relationships. It’s impossible to have great relationships with every person you meet. I mean who has the time? That’s why you need to be selective about where you focus your relationship energy. For example, you wouldn’t spend the same energy on a customer who has only purchased one entry level item from you in the last year as you would a CEO who has purchased your product for every employee at his company.
2) Put referral mechanisms in place. You already know that you don’t have time to build quality relationships with everyone; however you can put mechanisms in place such as follow up campaigns to help nurture and develop relationships so that you can have more of these quality relationships referring you.
3) Make people comfortable giving you referrals. One of the most important things to remember is that people don’t like to feel like they are “selling” their friends to you.
Offering an inducement or a bribe in exchange for names not only makes people uncomfortable, but may cause people to question the quality of your goods and services.
Also, some of your customers want to refer you, but don’t know how to approach their friends and family. By giving them easy ways to refer you without making it feel like you are paying them to do so, you will receive more and better referrals.
4) Ask. If you learn how to properly ask your customers for help, they will enthusiastically help promote your products and services. Because while people don’t ask if you want help promoting your products and services, when giving the chance, they enjoy telling others about things they try and like.
5) Show appreciation. People like to be appreciated. (Tweet this!) When you show appreciation properly, people will be pleased, won’t feel guilty and will more willingly refer you the next time you ask. Remember to thank your customers for their help and referrals. Let them know when one of their referrals works out and give them an update on what happened. For example, “the customer you referred, Mrs. Smith, just came in for her first appointment on Tuesday.”
Generating referrals takes a well-designed strategy, a system that reliably operates, and consistent effort to maintain. But the pay-off is worth it. Referrals are one of the highest probability and most profitable sources of new customers. Eliminate the worn out salesman techniques you use by chance and replace them with purposeful well-designed strategies instead.
P.S.– Get “The 10 Rules to Transforming Your Small Business into an Infinitely More Powerful Direct Response Marketing Business” for FREE. Click here to claim your customer-getting, sales-boosting tactics.