3 Tips For Higher Quality Referrals
For the vast majority of businesses they’re still the number 1 source of new business.
Think about your own business & how much work has come from either networking or referrals. I’m sure it’s probably a good amount. If it’s not then according to all the stats you’re the exception rather than the rule – which means the opportunity to do more is even greater!
Here are 3 tips that will help strengthen point 1 for you, and by doing so start to ease my personal frustrations on point 2!
Tip 1 - Ask
If this seems overly simple then I apologise (kind of), but it is that simple.
People love to give referrals (think about how you feel when you make an introduction that goes well) so I believe it’s our duty as business owners to ask.
But I know so many business owners don’t ask. Either because they don’t have the confidence, or they don’t know when or how, or they just forget.
These are all things that of course need solving, and which ever one may resonate for you is the one to look at in more detail, but for today I want to focus on making sure we ask properly.
Yes you can use a different tone of voice to suit you and the person you’re asking, and phrase it in all sorts of ways - but you must make it clear that you’d like a referral rather than skirt around the edges of the issue.
You also need to make sure you ask for an actual introduction.
There’s no bad referral. But the worst type BY FAR is when someone says “oh, I mentioned you to this person the other day, they should be in touch”.
I don’t know about you, but in my experience they very rarely do.
So, ask, ask properly, and ask for an introduction.
Tip 2 - Make it easy
Step 1 is asking; step 2 is actually getting them.
And for that we need to make it super easy for the person who’s referring us to think of someone.
We do that by being specific.
Even if your business as a whole is quite general, without a tight, specific, demographic niche (SME, or B2B, are not niches by the way) you need to try and be as specific as possible when you ask for a referral.
It just makes it so much easier for someone to think of that person, which means they’re more likely to do it.
Yes there is a danger that if you're super targeted the person may not know someone like your request - BUT - the positives outweigh the negatives by far.
Let’s say you ask 10 people for a referral.
It's better to be specific, get 7 blanks and 3 firm yeses, then be generalist and get 1 or 2 patchy referrals.
It can be different each time you ask, but each time be as specific as possible about who you’re looking for an introduction to. Trust me, you’ll see an upturn in results.
Tip 3 - Keep your referrers in the loop
So, you’re asking for more referrals, and you’re getting them because you’re being specific.
If you want to get repeat referrals from the same individuals, it’s vital you keep them informed about what’s going on with those they have referred previously.
Respond quickly to their introductions, keep them posted on updates, and, whatever the outcome, let them know how it goes and thank them again.
Honestly, there’s no surer way (other than delivering bad service) to stop someone referring you a second (or third or fourth) time then not letting them know what happened with the first.
Ok, so there’s 3 tips for you, if you can implement these then you’ll see a significant shift.
If you’d like to delve a little deeper into these, or want some more like:
● How to use triggers to make it even easier for people to refer you
● When the perfect times to ask are
● How to reward referrals
Then come and see me guest speaking at The Business Show 2022 at 15:30 - 16:00 on the 16th November, 2022 in Hall 6. I hope to see you there!