“Referrals come through who you are, not what you sell.”
-Bill Cates, The Referral Coach
It?s no secret that referrals are the foundation to any successful sales business. Almost any thriving sales professional will tell you that the clients that come from within are easier to acquire, easier to work with, and continue to refer more often than any others.
What does seems like a secret to many, though, is how to generate those referrals.
Being Referral Worthy
The starting point for building any referral-based business is to be worthy of the referral in the first place. Remember that every referral someone makes to you represents a form of risk to the referrer. With each recommendation, they place a little of their credibility on the line.
My question to you is this:
How referral worthy are you?
The Four Levels of Effort
I believe there are four levels of effort a sales professional can make to become referral worthy. As you climb to each new level, you dramatically increase your number of referrals to the point where your business grows by a minimum of 25% per year directly from referrals.
- Level #1 (Transactional): This group provides great service during the transaction, but does little or no follow-up after. They assume that because they gave great service, that the client will refer business.
- Level #2 (Infrequent Touch): Same great service during the transaction, plus sending out a holiday card, calendar or some small item of value once per year. Maybe a phone call once during the year.
- Level #3 (Frequent Touch): Includes everything above, plus sending out some form of monthly mailer.
- Level #4 (The RRi Standard):
- Provide service that creates a positive memorable experience that won?t soon forgotten by the client ? so positive, in fact, that the client can?t wait to tell others about their extraordinary experience.
- Check in after the sale several times over the next few months to make sure that everything is okay. The philosophy here? The sale is not complete until the customer is satisfied.
- Send a monthly Preferred Client Update mailer that provides value-added knowledge of interest to the client. (Note: This isn?t a mailer talking about you being number one, or all the sales records you?ve broken. This mailer is about them.)
- Call every 90 days to bring clients up to date on market conditions and address any questions they might have.
- Hold a client appreciation event at least once per year.
Referral Worthiness Works
We?ve tracked the results of Level 4 performers. Our coaching clients that follow the RRi standard get, on average, a 15% return on their database each year. That means that with just 100 people in their database, they receive enough referrals to create 15 transactions per year.
If you find those results tempting, then ask yourself if your current level of service is making you referral worthy. Worthiness, as it turns out, is well worth it!
As an added bonus this week, if you?re interested in implementing a monthly Preferred Client Update, call our friends at Morris Real Estate Marketing Group at 1-800-308-6134 or visit their website at www.morrisontheweb.com
They have the best program that I have seen (and rest assured I have studied them all!) As a favour to us, if you mention you called because of this article, you?ll receive two months free printing of the Preferred Client Update for all new subscribers.
What ideas do you have for becoming referral-worthy? Share them in the comments!