If you live anywhere on the east coast, you experienced another one of our blizzards. After a nice meal and being warm and toasty inside, a few people emailed me some questions on what they could do to increase their referral ratio.
I came up with a quick checklist on building your referral stream and also deepening your strong relationships. Each of these 9 suggestions can stand alone. Go through, think through the statement and then start to work on your own business plan to grow your relationships. I started by putting myself in my referral sources shoes and thought how and why do I give someone a referral and what I need to know and what makes them stay on my radar screen.
Let me know your thoughts and comments and of course, stay warm!
How to Get Referrals and Deepen Relationships
1. Know why you are asking for an introduction. Make it easy for your source to introduce you-give them as much information as they need and remember they are going out on a limb for you.
2. Make sure the trust is there. Be sure to get an introduction from someone who truly knows you and your work- and has been a client.
3. Be as specific as possible. Tell your referral source exactly the type of person you would like to work with-- don't make them do the work.
4. Ask your referral source to reach out to their contact first. Whether it is an email, text or a call, help that person introduce you the way you would like and be sure they are comfortable doing so.
5. Only follow up after they give you the green light. Ask your contact in their preferred method of communication if they were able to connect with their referral and if ok for you to reach out.
6. Say Thank You immediately and in a special way. When your client/friend goes out of their way to help you and does it, show your appreciation ASAP.Send a note, even a small token of a gift. It is a great reminder that you will also be on their radar screen.
7. Follow up with your Referral. You are armed with a great vote of confidence from someone they know. You now have an endorsement and an advocate.That is powerful -so follow up wisely.
8. You can't say thank you too much. After you've followed up, be sure to thank your referral source again in their preferred method of communication and give them a brief status report.
9. Continue the process. Whether you make a sale or begin to generate a new relationship, send your referral source another thank you. You will be remembered and other referrals will come your way.