I don’t know many businesses that would say they don’t want more referral business. They know that they are the best source of new clients, have the highest conversion of any lead source and come at the lowest cost per client. At the same time, most businesses sub-optimize this opportunity. Leaders and producers alike have many questions that generally remain unanswered. How do I get more referrals? Why do my referral efforts fail? How can I get referrals without asking? How can I make it easy to get referrals – for my clients and myself? Let’s answer these questions while exploring the challenges and what to do about it.
If people don’t trust or believe in the quality of your products, services, or expertise, they are less likely to refer others to you. The same is true if your business provides inconsistent or poor customer service. The remedy is simple, but not always easy to execute. Here’s a simple 3 step formula that works every time:
If you don’t have a structured referral program and incentives in place, people might not feel motivated to refer others. In addition, if it is too much of a hassle to refer others, they won’t do it despite wanting to. The top way consumers refer today is through email. That can take 15-20 minutes to properly introduce someone. You need to get that down to less than 2 minutes. What can you do about this?
Often, customers won’t refer others unless prompted to do so. If you don’t actively seek referrals, you will miss out on potential leads. 91% of people would refer if asked yet less than 10% of professionals actually ask consistently. That is staggering and unnecessary. There are lots of reasons why many don’t ask. They usually relate to lack of skills, lack of courage/emotional competence, and false and limiting beliefs. Your plan to solve this should include:
Some customers may be more likely to refer others. Identifying and nurturing these customers can improve your referral rate. Put another way, once you understand who your advocates are, you can put “more chips” down on them to amplify referrals. Here’s your plan:
Your customers or contacts might have other pressing concerns and may not prioritize referring others to your business. You likely have too much to do and not enough time to do it. This leads to referrals becoming less of a priority to you and them! You want to create the opposite environment. What can you do?
If you don’t reciprocate by referring business to your customers or contacts, they may be less inclined to refer others to you. This is particularly true with your network marketing. Sometimes we need to model the behavior we want or expect from others. For your customers this could mean being a resource broker to them as a value add by introducing them to trusted professionals like a dentist, doctor, car repair shop, etc. For your network, this means learning the profile of their ideal clients, then making strategic introductions to those you may know.
You might be reluctant to ask for referrals if you believe you are violating someone’s right to privacy. In regulated industries, there are referral rules to follow and consequences of misbehavior can be severe. To solve for this:
To increase your chances of receiving referrals, focus on delivering excellent products or services, building strong relationships with customers, implementing a referral program, and regularly asking for referrals. Additionally, providing incentives or rewards for successful referrals can also be effective in encouraging people to refer others to your business.
ReferMe IQ™ is passionate about helping organizations build high growth referral-based businesses with their ”state of the art” automated referral platform. Peter S. Velardi is an accomplished senior executive and entrepreneur who has impacted thousands of individuals and organizations to build a fast growing referral based business.
If you’d like to learn more about any of the topics discussed, please click here.
Post author: Peter S. Velardi