Increase Your Referral Power
by Jimmie Smith, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Investments
Educate Others About Your Business
Who is the easiest person for you to refer? Could it be the person whose business and/or occupation you understand the best?
Make it easy for others to refer business to you by helping them understand what you do. Then they can easily communicate that to others when making a referral to you. So work on a clear, concise “job description” for yourself and then describe how you can meet the needs of others. I think you will find a lot more people referring you when they can easily understand what you do and can communicate that to others.
Get More from the Business Cards You Collect
My first tip is one of the simplest: when you receive a business card from someone, immediately write on the back of the card the thing you want to remember about that person. This way, when you return to your office with 15 business cards, you'll know what each one was for. Here are some examples:
- you wanted to refer them to another contact of yours
- you wanted to get some information out to them
- they know someone you have been wanting to meet
- they had a referral for you and you want to be sure to follow up on it
The examples are unlimited, and so are the benefits. This helps you remember the person and follow up on those you meet while you're out in the "field."
Think Referrals ALL the Time
You need to have a "referral mindset." When you are speaking to friends or clients, you are always thinking of how you can better serve them by meeting a need of theirs. Because we are women, people often share a lot more with us than they typically would with a man in the same position. Use that to your advantage and make a win-win-win-win out of the situation.
- Win #1: You win because you're adding value to that relationship.
- Win #2: The people you're referring win because now they have a possible solution to a problem they have.
- Win #3: The people who are receiving your referrals win because they now have a new contact.
- Win #4: And you win again because all those people will want to reciprocate and you'll start getting referrals from them.
Your referral mindset needs to be active all the time, not just to solve problems that only relate to your business. Help someone with any need that the person may have, such as a dirty carpet, a vehicle maintenance problem, or not being pleased with their last haircut. Let's start winning for everyone with a referral mindset.
If you want people to refer you, you need to make yourself “referrable.” Do what you say you will do, return calls, and follow-up when you need to. Right now, can you think of someone you should have called or reconnected with and you just haven't done it? Do it at the next possible opportunity and continue doing it. If your words and your actions are consistent, people will refer you, but if they are not, people will not take a chance. If you have not been receiving the number of referrals you want, work on being more “referrable.”
Communicate Back to Your Referral Sources
Follow-up on the referrals you receive. As you progress through the sales process, keep the person who gave you the referral informed on how it's going—to the extent you can without giving up confidential information. By doing this, you will encourage the person giving you the referral that it was productive. You will educate that referral source on what types of referrals work best for you. And, it gives you the opportunity to further define your referral process. Good communication with your referral sources will only foster more referrals.