10 step referral generation process

“I have asked over 10,000 seminar delegates whether they like referrals and I have never heard a ‘No’! Word of mouth is a great way of getting business, isn’t it?” ~ Nigel Temple

Nigel is a sales and marketing consultant, speaker and author. He has been helping several thousand enterprises to improve their sales and marketing results over the last 25 years.

Here Nigel shares with us his 10 step plan to increasing referrals for your business.

1.  Set specific targets. For example: three referrals a week. If you set targets for other parts of your business, why not set targets for referrals?

2.  Start a chain reaction. If you want more referrals – give more referrals. In Deepak Chopra’s book, ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ (Bantam Press), he talks about the Law of Giving: “The universe operates through dynamic exchange…giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy….and in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.”

3.  Expand the ‘Reciprocity Factor’. Don’t make just one recommendation: make three.
This is only fair, isn’t it? After all, in business, you are not supposed to single source. Typically, companies get three quotes. You are being more helpful, by providing three options. On the one hand, you will be seen as impartial. On the other hand, you have tripled the ‘Reciprocity Factor’. By the way, where possible, ensure that you tell each supplier that you have recommended them.

4.  Mention to new customers that you will be asking them for referrals, as you get X% of your business by word of mouth. Also tell them that you will earn this by providing an outstanding service to them.

5.  Decide the precise words that you will use when you ask for a referral. Then write the words down. If you ask for referrals in person, you may get nervous – so the answer is to practice saying the words out loud. For example: “Tell me, who else do you know who might like to hear about us? We would like to send them a special introductory offer.” Alternatively, you can ask via an email / via your website.

6.  If you work in a team, train your colleagues in the ‘Art of Referrals’. Discuss referrals in team meetings, in order to remind them of the importance of this area.

7.  Thank your ‘Referrers’ (also known as advocates) personally. A nice idea is to send them a hand written ‘thank you’ note. It may also be appropriate to send them a gift.

8.  Keep records. In your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system), include a ‘flag’ for advocates. If they have done it once – they are likely to do it again.

9.  Make asking for referrals part of the way that you do business. One way of reminding people is within outbound emails, within the signature area.

10. Measure how many referrals you get each month, each quarter and each year. Remember that “What gets measured, gets done”.

If you have any sales, marketing or internet marketing questions, please ask via: www.marketingcompass.co.uk

Published courtesy of Nigel Temple