Every business loves referrals. In fact, the majority of businesses I work with admit that a large percentage of their most profitable business comes by way of referral. Happy customers and motivated strategic partners can represent a significant portion of your lead generation efforts, but only if you take the care to market to and with them the same way you would any target prospect.
In order to get the most referrals possible you need spend time and energy educating your referral sources and putting tools in their hands that make the act of referring your business even easier.
Below is one resource that you should consider adding to your suite of marketing materials.
It’s a great idea to create tools that make it easy to refer you - even for those rabid customers that want to tell the world about your business. One of the most common referral challenges is getting the right referrals. It doesn’t do your marketing effort much good if you’re chasing dead ends, particularly those sent by a referral source. The proverbial wild goose chase doesn’t serve anyone.
One of the easiest ways to get your referral sources on track is to create a branded document that I refer to as “The Perfect Introduction.” The idea behind this is that you use it to teach your referral sources crucial information that will help them be more effective at referring business. (If the thought of teaching someone to refer feels odd, think about how they feel when they waste their time referring someone that you can’t help)
Your referral introduction tool should contain descriptive copy that answers the following:
How to describe our core difference. (This assumes you know what that is, but then you must make it as easy and benefit laden as possible for a referral source to communicate) ie: You know how most lawyers aren’t very responsive, well mine calls me back in under an hour every time.
When someone says . . . give them my card – These are what I call trigger phrases. List the kinds of things people commonly say that indicates they need your product or service. (Your sales people probably know what these are) ie: People who need new accounting software don’t say, “I wish I had some new accounting software,” but they might say, “I never have any idea how old my receivables are.”
Our marketing process – Put your referral sources at ease by explaining the exact process you take a referred lead through to help them understand your business. This demonstrates that you have a professional approach and further helps them describe how you’re different.
What other have to say – If you’ve got some great client stories and testimonial quotes add a couple to this tool to offer proof about the result you’ve achieved with real clients just like them.
Another great use for this tool is the recruitment of strategic partners. Once you identify businesses that target your same market segment, reach out to them by sending a blank copy of the above introduction tool and ask them to teach you the best way to refer business to them. Don’t send this tool to any business that you wouldn’t send your best customer to, but those that do receive it will often want to find out more about your business when given the opportunity to introduce you their business.
If your business is deserving of referrals than the tools above will help you amplify your referability and keep the referral tap flowing.
Image credit: kainet