I don’t have to tell you how important referrals are to your business. If you’re a business owner or an independent professional, you know that referrals are the lifeblood of your business. If that’s the case, why aren’t you getting more referrals? Why don’t ALL your new clients come from referrals? You probably provide an excellent product and deliver the highest quality of service. No doubt you have a great reputation and your clients love you. If that’s really the case (and I believe it is), why aren’t you getting more referrals?
In my humble opinion, there are two reasons why you’re not getting more referrals — the first one is…
1. You Get Absolutely Sick At the Thought of Asking for a Referral
2. Your Clients Are Too Busy (or Lazy) to Give You Referrals
If you fall into the first category, you’re not alone. You and most other business people and independent professionals get ill at the thought of asking for referrals. If you’re like me you simply HATE asking for referrals.
Instead of relying on customers, clients, friends, or “centers of influence” to have to remember to talk about your business to their network of friends, I will show you how you get referrals without having to ask for them.
“ Why Aren’t You Getting More Referrals? ”
What are some referral techniques that didn’t work, or didn’t work as well as you hoped?
- Asking existing clients
- Giving out a stack of business cards
- Free consultation
- Other meetup groups
We are not going to be talking about any of these today!
Referrals are damn important but we don’t pay enough attention to them. We need to be strategic and put systems in place. Most entrepreneurs don’t think about their problems deeply enough. Always ask why. Hope is not a strategy. What’s holding you back?
Most business people don’t get more referrals because they don’t believe they deserve referrals. Without question, the main reason why most entrepreneurs DO NOT ask for referrals is… FEAR
4 Common Mental Referral Barriers
#1 –FEAR you haven’t provided enough value yet.
#2 –FEAR you’ll hurt the relationship.
#3 –FEAR you’ll look unprofessional or needy.
#4 –FEAR of not knowing how to get out of the conversation.
FEAR is made up in the mind. You need to get over it.
Just because they know you, does not mean they will refer clients to you. Naturally we don’t want to refer because it’s a risk we don’t want to make.
People will NOT refer others to you if they aren’t confident the result is going to be positive. Think of the last time you referred someone else…
In order to get referrals, you need to be “referable’. To be referable, you need to be reliable and able to deliver a great service or product. I call that your Refer-ability Factor.
Can you really deliver what you said you’ll deliver? You need to be excellent at a bare minimum. Make sure to always keep your small promises. If you said you’re going to call at 5pm, call at 5pm. If you can’t follow through on something simple, how do you expect clients to believe in you enough to refer you.
Your partners need to trust that not only can you provide great products and services but that you are consistent in living up to high business standards.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Living up to your branding
- Consistency in follow-up –a system of regular communication with clients
- Consistent billing practices: ensuring clients get value and your pricing doesn’t vary
- A 100% satisfaction guarantee
- How you communicate with your clients
- When do you communicate with your clients
- How you promote yourself
- How you show up at a networking event – prepared, on time and well presented, etc.
McDonads sells a money making machine. If you ask to speak to the owner. He’s not there. The whole restaurant is run by teenagers. Everything is turned into a system. If you go to a McDonalds anywhere on the planet you’ll find they’re always consistent. Consistency is the key in business. In an uncertain world, certantly is what we are selling. People are willing to pay a priemum for certainty.
YOUR REFER-ABILITY FACTOR SELF-AUDIT:
1. What are some areas where your service delivery is inconsistent or has room for improvement?
2. What service delivery standards do you currently or consistently uphold?
3. Going forward, what business standards are you willing to create and commit to
You don’t get more referrals because you want it, demand it or desperately need it. You only get referrals when you deserve it.
THE TWO TIMES CLIENTS REFER
The two times are just after they have a positive experience with you and when a friend expresses a need for a solution that you represent.
#1 Key To Getting Unlimited Referrals
The key concept is to have your client remember you when someone she knows needs you, NOT when you decide you want a new client. What we must focus on is making sure that our clients understand our particular solutions we can deliver or experiences we can provide. If we can make that easy to recall, they will remember us when they hear someone describe a need for what we do. In the end, we don’t really want our clients to share with us the names of their friends. We want our clients to share OUR names with their friends at the RIGHT time. Any that doesn’t deliver that is not a good strategy.
One of the fundamentals of referral marketing is being able to describe something unique that you can deliver to a specific kind of client.
7 Proven Referral Strategies That Send Your Profits Soaring
Referral Strategy #1: Move them up the loyalty ladder as fast as possible.
- Raving Fan
- “I love this place! I tell all my friends about it.”
- “I’ve been coming here for years.”
- “I always have a good experience coming here”
- “It was okay, I may be back.”
- “I am looking for a new spa/salon”
How can you move them up as quickly as possible?
Sign them us as a member.
You want to be assertive and proactive in moving first-time buyer to customer to committed customer. The BEST way to have a committed customer(member) is to have them paid forward or on auto-charge, especially if there is pain of disconnect with the auto-charge.
Giving referrals deepens the commitment of the client, which extends the life of that client and increases the spending activity of that client. The more the client refers the longer she stays so she can refer again thereby staying longer so she can refer again… and inside the circle, the more actively engaged she is, so the more she spends.
EXAMPLE : GYM
- Drop-in – Customer
- Membership – Don’t go but still pay.
- Gyms expect 80% of the members to not show up
EXAMPLE : Table Tennis University
EXAMPLE: Sweet Nail
Your best member is your best client. They want to buy everything you have. With Sweet Nail, there is a free membership. It’s difficult to get these customers to pay on a monthly basis so I found a way to get them to prepay. Other business people thought I was crazy. They said, “You can’t do that.” But I did anyway and it works. My first order was for the most expensive package, $2500. The most popular one is always the middle but there is a segment in your marketplace that will buy your most expensive offer. Make sure you have it there to offer it t them. Don’t do what everyone else does. Disrupt the industry.
Referral Strategy #2: Give people an interesting story to tell and provide good tools to your referral partners
LOKISM: Facts tell, Stories sell
“What stories can they tell about you?” A lot of people find simple, straightforward referring awkward and uncomfortable, but everyone tells interesting stories they’ve discovered to others all the time.
“Provide tools so it’s easy for them to direct others to you, with a simple way for those referred to learn more about you.
This works best when there is some immediate benefit to the referred person.”
“The EASIEST way to create to do this is to offer information that your customers or referral partners can give out, that allows you to CONTROL the story being told about you while being helpful to the person receiving the information.”
LOKISM: You must give the IDEAL prospect something they didn’t have before, some information or insight that helps them see more clearly
Referral Strategy #3: Use powerful testimonials to generate more referrals
- Help them write testimonials
- Use photos as much as possible
- Use audio and video testimonials
- Make them as specific as possible
- Put them on your website
- Use the actual letters
After working with ________________. I got _________________ result.
The higher ticket the items are the longer the testimonials should be.
Your goal should be to get 100 video testimonials. People won’t watch them all but that’s not the point. Wouldn’t you want to work with someone that has 10o positive reviews.
Referral Strategy #4: Send other people referrals!
Do you deliver an experience people want to pass along?
Although delivering a superior client experience is not enough to guarantee referrals, it’s a prerequisite.
How much do you do to demonstrate that you are the best _____ to handle your clients particular problems?
Referral Strategy #5: Use Reverse Prospecting
Reverse Prospecting is simply reverse engineering your client’s network of contacts, then presenting her with a list of people you know she knows or at least, is likely to know. And you say: “I’d like to help more people in _________ group. Who on this list do you think we should send (your gift) to?’
Typical referral scenario: “Do you know anybody who needs an architect?” the little Rolodex of relationships inside your client’s brain starts spinning and it keeps spinning because your client doesn’t know anybody who needs an architect at that moment. So you get the, “No one comes to mind, but I’ll keep my eyes open…” answer and you get NO REFERRALS.
Reverse prospecting is different. You’ve already done your homework for them. You’ve figured out who they might know, who is similar enough to them that they might also need what you’re offering.
Referral Strategy #6: Let your client know you’ll be asking for referrals later on
Use this proven script:
“Good morning. My name is Michelle and I am the owner of this business. Before we get into what it is you require, I’d like to let you know how we work with our clients. Would that be OK?” “We get about 80 percent of our business from referrals and I like working with people just like you. So, what I’d like to ask is that if you believe you get value from working with me, you’ll refer at least two people to me who are just like you. I’m NOT asking you for them now, but at some stage when you believe you’re received great value. Would that be OK?”
Take it away to create urgency. You have to practice this. Tonality is important to get this right.
When you are actually asking for a referral, take it away so they want it even more: “I’ve been giving it second thoughts. I’m beginning to think I may have been overly hasty in asking for a referral from you. You see, we have been inundated with referrals lately, and quite honestly, I only want to take on referrals if we can guarantee the same fantastic level of service that our current clients enjoy. I’d hate to disappoint new clients by not being able to live up to their expectations.”
Referral Strategy #7: Make giving you a few referrals a condition of doing business with you.
- You could use a Commitment Statement. This is a document that sets out what you, as a business, will do for your clients in return for their making certain commitments to you.
- You could make a video that outlines how you work with new clients and why they should give you referrals.
- You accept only clients who are referred to you by current clients.
- You advertise the fact that this special offer is only for people who have been referred to you. This gives you an air of exclusivity, which in itself makes certain people want to do business with you.
Bonus Referral Strategy: Use events to create referral opportunities.
FACT: Even if you get clients talking about your favorably to others, that’s not enough to get great results. The people they’re telling are distracted, time pressed, nodding as their friend talks but turned out, mind elsewhere, fingers texting. You MUST give your clients a reason to talk about you and actually bring their referrals directly to you.
Advanced Human Psychology Insight
If you look at the patterns for starting human relationships outside of business, most begin with an introduction in a group setting. There’s less pressure on everyone, which allows for a real relationship to begin. That’s what we’re after… that’s where the profit lives.
- Book signing
- Social activities
- Sports activities
- Webinars and teleseminars
- Google Hangout
- Facebook live stream
Embrace The Referral Mindset
- I believe that asking for referrals is a safe thing to do.
- I constantly give referrals
- I expect to get referrals
Let’s Recap! What did you learn?
- Reverse prospecting
- Consistency is important
- You have to be unique
- Add value first
- Move them up the layalty ladder
Dan Lok’s Books