Is a referral letter the missing link and the key to getting more referrals in your business? This article will examine the idea referral letters, how they work, and what they need to include.
First, what is a referral letter?
A referral letter is a letter that is mailed on behalf of your clients to other individuals that he or she knows that introduces you to your prospect.
The reason a referral letter is so powerful is because it endorses you, and is coming from a trusted source of information.
There are several things that a referral letter must include if it is to be successful.
First, the referral letter needs to be targeted to the right person. A person who is likely to need (and want) your services.
Second, the referral letter should indicate and talk about what you have done for the person who is introducing you. This is a key point. If possible, the referral letter should address and overcome any potential objections. For example, “At first I was very skeptical that Matt would be able to help me with my problem, but I found out that he had some great ideas and information.”
Third, the referral letter must relieve any pressure that a person feels in meeting with you–after all we don’t want to cause pressure to meet, we want the person to really be interested.
Now that we’ve talked about the things that need to be in a referral letter we also need to address some basic logistical things.
First, who should write the referral letter?
The answer is simple. You! You should write the referral letter (perhaps 2 or three different versions) and then give the referral letter to the person to sign his or her signature. That is it.
You need to handle the postage.
You need to handle the addressing.
You need to handle the mailing.
You want to make it so easy for the person who is signing your referral letter that all he or she has to do is briefly read over it, and then sign his or her name at the bottom.
You need to make it easy, easy, easy, easy, easy!
If you don’t make it easy, no matter how good of a job you have done and how much you “deserve” the referral, you risk making it inconvenient and therefore not getting the referral from your referral marketing strategies.
Okay, so we’ve covered the basics of a referral letter.
Now lets cover some other things that need to be included in the process.
The referral letter must also include what the next step is, so the person who is receiving it knows what to do, and what to expect.
You must realize that sometimes a referral letter is not going to be enough. In other words, you are going to have to send multiple letters or points of contact.
Sometimes you need to put a referral letter before a newsletter you send out to your clients. It is extremely important to do this.
Lastly, what incentive does the person who is mailing the letter have to actually send it out. Now this will vary from person to person but you need to realize that not everyone is the same…some people want to refer just because they like you and the job you have done, but some people may feel as if you are being pushy. So it is important to realize what is going on. You always, at the very least, at least need to give the offer of an incentive to someone.