A good referral system is something that every business can always use. Referrals are, of course, some of the best clients and customers because they are generally easier to sell.
There are many different referral systems you can implement in your business, but for the referral systems to work you must understand and have several key components.
#1) The referral system must keep you top of mind, in your client’s, prospect’s, and referral partners mind’s. Why is this so important? Most people are completely overwhelmed with things to do. Giving you a referral is generally not #1 on someones priority list. if you don’t keep top of mind then you will struggle to consistently get referrals from your referral marketing system.
#2) The referral system must make you stand out and help educate your prospect, client, or referral partner on why it is good to do business with you (versus someone else) and why he or she needs to give you a referral.
I’ve had people tell me before that their clients don’t give them referrals, and these people are upset. News alert! Do you deserve getting a referral? Its like thinking that just because you are alive you deserve the business. Sorry, business does not work like that. If you want to get referrals you must deserve them.
Stop right now and make a list of all the reasons why you deserve referrals. Do you give better service? Do you give a longer warranty? Do you provide better options, better speed? Explain why!
Step #3) You must explain the benefits, whenever, possible, that exist for people giving you referrals in your referral system.
Why should I give you a referral? is what your network is thinking. Most people are consistently thinking about their problems, and need to know why they should give you a referral. What is the benefit? Do they get a reward of some type, recognition? Do they get monetary benefits? Do they get a discount? Do they get a prize? Why?
Note: Do not be cheap here. Nothing frustrates me more when I see someone say something like, “I’ll give you $50 if you refer someone to me, when he or she makes $3,000 and would pay his or her salesperson $1,500.
Good rewards for getting referrals generally are not just monetary, but are experiential type gifts. Money is okay, but people tend to either spend the money on paying off debt or invest it, and money doesn’t have the enjoyment that a nice dinner, or a trip to the spa has.
Important note: Do not only reward people who give you referrals that become new business. Of course you must look at your monetary base, but if someone gives you a referral and it does not become a client a thank you card and a small gift can still go a long way. The goal is to reward behavior in your referral systems.
Conclusion: Your referral marketing system needs to include these key concepts. If it does not address these psychological issues then you will probably run into difficulties in getting business referrals because you are missing one of these things. Start building referral systems today!
Remember, people are bombarded with stress, problems, and things to do in life. Giving you referrals is not a priority for people…it just is not, so you need to provide clear, rationale reasons and give emotional benefits and rewards to people who give you referrals.