If you don’t have a systematic referral programme you are missing out on one of the simplest, lowest cost ways to generate your highest quality customers.
Referrals are the lifeblood of small businesses. But do you actually know how to ask for one?
Think for a moment. Has someone ever asked you for a referral? Did it go something like this: “Do you know someone who could benefit from my services?”
You start to think about it and eventually say: “Well, not off the top of my head, but I’ll keep thinking about it.”
This is how 90% of all referral questions are asked and unfortunately, the question may as well not have been asked at all. Rarely, if ever, will it get a positive response.
Why? Because it was not asked correctly. The typical “Know anyone who….” questions are too broad for people to think about.
People need a frame of reference to help them narrow down the playing field of potential referral candidates. For instance, imagine you are talking to one of your good clients who is pleased with your services. You ask her: “Mary, you’re a member of the Women’s Financial Planning Association here in Brisbane aren’t you?”
Mary responds: “Yes, I am.”
You ask: “Do you go to their meetings on a regular basis?”
Mary replies: “Yes, most of the time.”
You ask: “Is there anyone in your association that you believe could benefit from my services? Maybe one or two people you’ve known in the group for a while or sit next to regularly?”
Can you spot the difference?
You gave Mary a narrow frame of reference from which to think about it. It allowed her to visualise the potential referrals in her mind.
This may limit the number of potential people that your client might know, but it is far more effective than opening up the ocean of people that Mary might know, but can’t remember.
Your request will also stay in Mary’s mind long after you’ve asked it because she can visualise your services with much greater intensity.
Virtual Business Advisor
How to book a meeting with a business advisor, mentor or coach?
Find out about Government Grants for Queensland business?
Would you like to become an Accredited Advisor?
Need information on how to prepare a business plan?
Do you want a step by step guide to growing your business?
Become a sponsor or partner of BAN and connect with small business decision makers?
I wish to make a donation to help small business.