Striking GOLD with referrals to your business

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By Frances Pratt

Referrals are what sales people call a warm lead.  It is someone who comes into your business because they know something about you, have met you or a client that you’ve worked with.

They are GOLD because you have a higher chance of closing sales with them, and this means you have to do less sales calls in order to reach your targets.

Why, I hear you ask, do referrals have a much higher conversion rate than other leads into your business?  It’s simple, it’s about trust. Because the person trusts the referrer they’re more likely to trust you and what you have to say to them.  So – your job is to guide them through your sales process and make them a happy customer too!

There are some really simple things that you can put in place right now to build more referrals into your business and here’s the trick: You have to be proactive about it.  You have to ask your clients and people that you know for referrals into your business.  Why?  Because someone is three times more likely to refer business to you if you just simply ask them.  

The easiest way to get more referrals is to have happy clients - happy clients, funnily enough, are much more likely to refer business to you.  Then you need to get used to introducing the ask into your client meetings.

Here’s an example of a way to introduce this … once you have answered all your client’s questions: 

“Well, for my business the thing that I’m focusing on in the next 12 months is getting new clients in, so I’m looking for referrals.  Do you know anyone who might value the product or service that I’m selling?”.

And just that one simple thing is going to help your clients think about people who they can refer to your business and they’re much more likely to do it.

Now if you get a referral from a client there’s a few things you need to do:

  1. Confirm that you can use the client’s name when you’re talking to the referrer;
  2. Make sure that you actually call up this person and follow up the lead, and
  3. Keep in touch with the client about how you’re going with the lead, because if you’re successful with them and you keep in touch then they’re much more likely to refer new business to you next time.

 

Last thing – remember your manners.  When you get a referral remember to say thank you.  That can be in words – but some people choose to give money, gifts or even a nice thank you card.  Find your own style.

Go on – get out there and talk to your clients!

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