How do they do it? More and more top professionals and service providers generate a consistent stream of referrals from networks and relationships by doing things differently than most.
What are the key behaviors? How is it different in today’s connected world of online technology, social media communities and changing consumer preferences?
Here is a checklist that might help. This is based on working with 1,000’s of businesses at all stages of development.
Establish referrals through the foundational elements of success
- Business Plan – Do you have one? Is it actionable or collecting dust?
- Clear measures – Vital Statistics (Activity X Conversion X Revenue). Do you track your vitals to make sound investment decisions based on what metric(s) you want to move?
- Define targeted “Ideal Client/Customer”- Is that crystal clear to all and the basis of all marketing efforts?
Build a “Differentiated” and “Trusted” online brand based on “Ideal Client/Customer”
- Website – Is it actionable? Appeal to target client? Demonstrate both character (your values) and competence (your capabilities to solve issues unique to target clients/customers)? Do you focus on SEO?
- Blog/Content – Are you sharing relevant content to targeted clients/customers in online communities they are part of? Is it actionable to create a lead?
- Social Media Strategy – Do you have a simple, effective and well-executed strategy? Are you taking advantage of the best training available?
- Online profiles – Up to date picture with background that appeals to target audience? Does your profile reflect your character (values) and competency? Do you make use of videos to tell your story?
Automate the Referral Process
- Referral Process – Do you have a way to consistently ask for referrals in a professional and skillful manner? Many businesses today find that an automated email system to “drip on the rock”, that does the asking in ways clients/customers prefer, can help. A very effective resource here is ReferMeIQ
- Office signage/prompts – Does your signage and offer standees make it clear that you are growing and taking on new clients/customers? Is the font large enough for older clients to read?
- Email signature/postscript – Do you encourage referrals by adding language to emails such as “don’t keep me a secret” or “we appreciate introductions to others we can help”?
- Voice Mail – Do you add a welcoming message such as “and don’t keep me a secret – I really enjoy helping others whom my clients/customers care about”?
Keep your team focused on the key behaviors of referability:
- Say please and thank you
- Do what you say
- Show up on time
- Finish what you start
- Transparent values
Hopefully, this checklist can help you assess the reality of how referable your business may be. Our goal is to stimulate discussion within your team that leads to taking some action in areas of opportunity.
For more help in any of the areas mentioned, feel free to browse the many resources we have available at ReferMeIQ. We are here to help you grow.
Post author: Peter Velardi, CFP®