I have been in the industry well over 30 years as an advisor, senior leader, trainer and business owner. It is fascinating to me how so many sales professionals and business continue to struggle with referral prospecting and client/customer acquisition in general. The great irony is that is easier than ever!! With just a little better understanding of the modern consumer, proven practices, and new techniques that leverage technology – every business should have “ideal clients/customers” chasing them. Top businesses are doing that now. Here’s a brief primer on how you can too.
What we know:
So let me understand this. Consumers want to be referred. They want to refer and help out others. Targeted clients/customers are online with more accessibility and transparency than ever before – yet businesses still struggle to acquire referrals. Why is that and what can you do about it now? Let’s examine the reasons why it seems so hard, what needs to happen and discuss some immediately implementable solutions.
Additionally, what are the “conditions for success”?
So, given what we know about consumers, businesses, and optimal conditions for success – what can you do now?
– Make it a big deal in your marketing plan. Don’t have a plan? Download this one as a starting point.
– Make sure your business is referable! Show up on time, do what you say, say please and thank you, build referral awareness into your office signage, signature line in emails, business cards, referral cards, website, etc.
– Develop the winning referral attitude – good people want to help others, I am obligated to facilitate that, ideal clients/customers should be working with me, I am letting everyone down if I don’t make that happen.
– Manual Referral System. Lots of best practices here for businesses, including how to ask, when to ask, prompt for reminders, and development of a referral tracker. If you’d like to learn more about this, contact us.
– Automated Referral Systems. The best systems are easy to set up, they leverage technology and email to achieve scale and repeatability, and they work for both consumers and businesses.
The best I have seen in the market is the ReferMeIQ system.
As a result, it is hard to maintain focus and make good decisions in the presence of emotions and challenge. Hire a coach, find an accountability partner, work with leaders in your organization, and learn what top businesses are doing to today with technology and modern best practices. You don’t need to go at it alone! We are happy to help as well!
Post author: Peter Velardi, CFP®