Referrals can be and many times are a vital element of your marketing plan. Sometimes, and many times too often, referrals are taken for granted or they are not sought. How you deal with referrals makes a significant difference in whether you will receive repeat referrals. If the person giving you referrals has a positive and pleasant experience and it is through a process that they can trust, then you will receive more referrals in the future.
There are several key elements in building up a trusting relationship with people who refer others to you. Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach offers the following seven (7) strategic tips on how to establish and solidify that trust with your referrers.
#1: Commit to and develop a strategic approach to using referrals as one way to grow your business.
#2: Commit to and always treat a new prospect that has been referred to you with the highest level of appreciation, importance and care. Remember, how you treat this prospect will impact your relationship with the person who referred him or her to you. You want to make sure your dealings with the prospect reflect well on your referral source. And another important note: even if the prospect does not develop into a customer or client, you want them to still sat great things about how you treated them.
#3: Commit to and always respond promptly to a referral. The "life span" of a referral can be very short. It is essential that you act immediately. If you fail to act immediately you are risking damage to your relationship with referrer and missing an opportunity with a new prospect.
#4: Commit to and always reward the behavior of your referral source. Always thank the referrer, even if the referral does not result in a new customer or client. You may consider a small token of appreciation in the form of a small thank you gift or something else that would be valued by the referral source.
#5: Commit to and always keep your referrer informed of your progress in contacting and pursing the prospect referred to you. Your referral source, in the majority of cases, really wants to know how things are going with the referral. Let your referrer now when you contact the prospect and meet with the prospect. If the prospect becomes a customer or client ask for permission to tell the referral source. If you have difficulty contacting the prospect, contact your referrer. Many times the referrer will offer to assist you in making contact.
#6: Commit to and always thank the referral source for new customers and clients. This is absolutely mandatory in my opinion. It is good business etiquette and it is simply the "right thing to do." This will reinforce the action of giving referrals and will encourage more referrals. You might also suggest that the new client thank the referrer and possibly take them out to lunch to celebrate the new relationship.
#7: Commit to and develop a method to evaluate your referral plan and make the necessary adjustments to your plan in a timely manner to ensure continued effectiveness of referrals.