November 11, 2009
Turning to your current and/or past clients for their referral business is not only a smart and practical way to build your business, it's EASY! We all know it costs more to obtain new clients than to maintain current or past clients. Make a commitment to keep in touch with them often - tell them what's happening with your business and ASK for their help. People love to be needed!
1. Look at your clients not as a one-time sale, but as a budding friendship.
Friends help friends. Share your stories with each other - develop those important relationships.
2. Ask for them!
I know, that's an obvious statement, but so many people are afraid to simply ask. Why not try this ? Contact one of your clients/customers today and simply ask - "Of all the people in your office (or of all of your closest friends) which person do you think would be the most interested in the product/service I offer?" What's the worst that can happen - you certainly cannot be killed for asking!
3. Begin at the beginning.
Instead of waiting later in a client/customer relationship to ASK for referral support….(which for some can be uncomfortable) begin TELLING your prospects/new clients at the very beginning that receiving referral support from your clients is HOW you do business. Always tell your prospects what they can expect from you during your relationship, and in turn, what you will expect from them.
4. Practice makes perfect!
The more you do, the better you become at what you do or know, the more confident you naturally come off to others. Creating more confidence for THEM to easily refer you to the people in their life as "The only ONE to go to."
5. Shift the burden.
Many business owners are afraid that asking for referrals from their customers/clients puts an unwanted burden on them. (They feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for 'help.') So, shift your belief or understanding. When you ask your clients to refer their friends or colleagues to you, YOU (once again) are HELPING MORE PEOPLE. (The burden stays on you and off of them!) People LOVE to help others (generally) so why not make them feel special, and ASK for their help?
6. Create an exclusive experience!
Create an experience for your customers/clients that feels (and is) exclusively just for them. How you do business should definitely stand out (and apart) from your competition. It doesn't have to be a lot. Keep it simple - yet clearly beneficial to your clients/customers.
7. Clearly express yourself!
Let your clients know ALL that you do. Most will think the only thing you do or offer is what they get from you. Explain through stories, examples, and other offers the FULL RANGE of what you are able to offer. Don't drown them in details, it's better to explain all the products and services you offer, one at a time.
8. Think Long-Term Relationship - not just WIIFM!
Let your clients/customers know you are interested in serving them for the long haul. Sometimes it won't occur to a client/customer to return to you for your product or service. Let them know you would like to serve them as long as they need the product or service you are exchanging with them.
9 . K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, Specific
People love easy and simple (isn't that why you are reading this top ten?). Whatever your product or service, make the experience of working with you as easy and simple for your customer/client as possible. Be specific in what you are offering or in what you are looking for!
10. Tell your clients just how important their referral support is to your success.
People love to know when they are doing good and when they have been a key player in something successful. Be sure to thank them, thank them often, keep in touch with them, find out what's important to them and to their business and see if you can offer a solution to them!
What other ways are you using to increase the number of referrals you receive? Tell me about them in the comment section below!
To Your Networking Success!
Carol Deckert is a Networking Coach and the Netweaving Expert for Group Mastery. She's the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network, has more than 6,700 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,800 “friends” on FaceBook and more than 3,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her netweaving work, she helps others learn to do what she did, save them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: Deckert1116
October 5, 2009
If your referral network is not working the way you want or expect it to, it's your responsibility to make it work. Perhaps you have not been keeping them up-to-date on the new products/services you are providing? Do they know all the original products/services you provide?
Does your Referral Network have current business cards, brochures, website information, email information, and your offline contact information? Do they know you are on Twitter, FaceBook or LinkedIn? Are they aware that you are involved in any online social networking? Your referral partners need to be informed so that they may educate those in their networks and refer the perfect prospects for your business.
BUT . . . Referral marketing is a two-way street. Do you make sure your referral partners know that you are interested in what THEY do, rather than just worry about how interested they are in what you do? Remember, it's always about What's In It For Them (WIIFT) not What's In It For You (WIIFY). Do you know if they are involved in online social marketing? If so, are you connected to them and sharing your connections with them? How about their products/services - are you keeping up-to-date on what they are doing so that you can appropriately refer them? Are you genuinely interested in their business? Or are you just interested in what they can do for you? Do you know how to properly refer them? Are you referring them? Are you following up with each other on a regular basis?
It IS your responsibility to inform your referral partners on what a good referral is for you AND to make sure you know what a good referral is for them! . Responsibility is something people are sometimes reluctant to accept. Actions taken on your behalf by other individuals is YOUR responsibility, so be sure to choose the people that are the right ones to work with. People who can readily understand what you do and how you do it AND are able to properly communicate to you what they do and how they do it for reciprocal referrals! Demonstrate your competence and integrity, maintain the effectiveness and strength of your referral relationships and make this process work . . . for both of you!
How are YOU training your referral partners? What are you doing to maintain these relationships? Without maintenance, everything breaks down - just like your car - without regular maintenance, things stop working. Do you want that to happen to your referral partners?
Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments section - how can I be of help to you?
To Your Networking Success!
Carol Deckert is a Networking Coach and the Netweaving Expert for Group Mastery. She's the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network, has more than 6,700 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,800 “friends” on Facebook and more than 3,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her netweaving work, she helps others learn to do what she did, save them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: deckert1116