Many times people who want to send a referral letter are hoping to get new business referrals. Referral letters can work extremely well, if you know how to structure the referral letter.
There are many important things that must go into a referral letter for it to be successful.
Step #1: Make sure that your referral letter will get opened. Many times people sort their mail over the trash can and throw mail away that look like junk mail, or that looks boring, or irrelevant to them.
Step #1-A: Another secret you can do is to put a penny stamp or 2 on the outside of the envelope. Multiple stamps raise the interest and curiosity of people who are getting your referral letter, and adding a penny stamp or two is an inexpensive way to raise this curiosity and ensure your referral letter gets opened.
How do you get your referral letter opened? You can insert hard candy in it, like peppermints or jolley ranchers, or you can put some “lumpy mail” into it. This is inexpensive, and raises the curiosity of the person who is opening the mail.
Step #2: Get to the point and be very clear in your referral letter. You need to tell people what you want in the referral letter if you want to be successful. Sometimes people hem and haw around and do not clearly state what the person is supposed to do.
Step #3: Explain in your referral letter what the referral partner or what the person stands to gain by offering you a referral. Although it may seem obvious, it is extremely important to explain what is in for the person who is giving you a referral. Is there a financial reward? Is there a dinner award? What appeals and what can you give to excite the prospect!
Step #4: Give memory joggers in your referral letter. Simply asking, “Who do you know?” Is not a good referral strategy in your referral letter. It is better to ask, “Who do you know that just bought a new car, or who do you know that just <insert a good referral match for you>” You need to figure out ideal buying situations for your target clients and referral partners.
Step #5: Give multiple ways to respond to your referral letter. I believe you should give AT LEAST 2 ways for people to give you a referral in your referral letter. For example, you can call me, or email me. The more options you give in your referral letter, the better chance you have at getting referrals. Of course you must be clear.
Step #6: Use a P.S. in your referral letter. Why? Many times a P.S. is the second most read part of a letter (the first is the headline or opening sentences and salutation). Use the PS the emphasize something important in your referral letter.
Step #7: Mail it! The best referral letter in the world is WORTHLESS if you do not mail it. Forget tweaking it forever. Implement these core concepts in your referral letter, and then mail it.
If you implement these five steps in your referral letters you will stand a much better chance at getting referrals. Start getting massive referrals today!