Tag Archives: Referrals

How to ask your contacts for referrals

Do you often ponder about how to ask your contacts for referrals?  Are you aware that many of your happy customers would be really pleased to pass on referrals to you if you simply asked.  Why not let them do the hard work on your behalf!   When initially working with your prospective customer you can make it even easier, to ask for referrals, by ‘sowing the seed early’ with them.

Asking for referrals
Making asking for referrals easy

Referrals, without doubt, is one of the top ways to grow your business exponentially once you start collecting happy customers. Many of you will know this already, but how many of you are actually prepared to ask for referrals?

So are you afraid? This is one of the main reasons small business owners do not ask for referrals – due to the fear of ‘shedding themselves in a bad light’ or from being told ‘NO’. If this applies to you, you need to get over this and force yourself to step-out of your comfort zone and get into the habit of asking for referrals from every satisfied customer. Once you start doing this it will then become second nature over time.

Remember:

  • Generally people like to help others especially if there is no cost involved to them.
  • The worst that can happen to you – someone says “No”. But this isn’t the end of the world, be prepared that not everyone will help you with referrals, but there will be many who will, so just remind yourself of this upon receiving a “No”. The book Go for No by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz is testament to this – the more “Nos” you receive, get you closer to a “Yes”!
  • Make asking for a referral part of your customer close routine. DO NOT ASK FOR A REFERRAL WHEN PRESENTING YOUR INVOICE. A great time to ask is when asking for feedback.

THE KEY IS not to ask everyone for referrals just the customers who you know are really happy with the product/service you have provided them. So how do you do this seamlessly I here you ask!

Great salesman, for example Tom Hopkins, always follow-up to make sure that their customers are happy with the level of service provided through feedback and to find out when they would like to be contacted again. If they are happy with your services this is the perfect time to ask for a testimonial and/or referrals. This is best done in person. However, if this isn’t possible, over the phone, via e-mail, text or LinkedIn/Facebook message are other methods that can be used.

ASKING FOR THE REFERRAL

When asking don’t be vague, be sincere and direct. You need to make a clear statement describing what type of clients you are looking for. You need the person you ask to have a clear idea of what type of referral you are looking for.

You could say something like:

“I’m really happy that you’re pleased with the product/service I provide. I am always looking for more people [to be specific you could include a profession here, i.e. solicitors, accountants, estate agents, etc.] just like you and wonder if you know of anyone else who might be interested in what I do?”

At this point pause and wait for their response

If they confirm that they are happy to provide you with a referral/referrals ascertain if there is anyone they know straight away and if they would like you to contact them direct or if they would prefer to pass your name on. At the same time you could also provide them with a small supply of business cards for them to use to pass your details on to anyone in the future. You might also like to let them know the benefits of passing a referral to you if you offer a referral program to your customers, i.e. every referral passed they will receive a £25 voucher from a major retailer of your choice or a bottle of champagne.

Just keep reminding yourself that the more referrals you ask for the more you will get!  I’d love to hear what you think on using this type of strategy for your business so do comment below.

Until next time

Nicky @NickyClaydon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So what is Relationship Marketing?

Relationship Marketing is a relatively unknown concept for most small businesses owners/sales professionals or, if people are aware of it, the meaning is often completely misconstrued, so what is Relationship Marketing? Relationship marketing is a strategy used in business to foster customer loyalty and also emphasises customer retention and satisfaction rather than focussing on sales only.   It is most often used by small businesses and sales and marketing professionals who realise the importance of really connecting with their prospects/clients and the benefits for their business, over the longer term, by doing so.

Relationship Marketing
Relationship Building

When in business it is all too easy to focus on your marketing generally rather than honing in on specific aspects of marketing to help grow your business. There are also many small business owners who shy away from any form of marketing altogether as they view marketing as an expensive commodity that they can ill afford. If this is you, this could really be doing your business a disservice.

Businesses owners, generally, are all too often more than happy to ‘shell out’ for an expensive website but then overlook that the fact that they need to market their website in order to gain business as people will not magically find their website unless it is at the top of Google’s search engine.

Many businesses aren’t aware that just through communicating more effectively on a regular basis with their existing contacts and customers, they can reap the rewards of more business and referrals just by implementing a simple system, without having to go out and look for new customers. This can be done relatively cheaply too.

As a practise, relationship marketing differs from other forms of marketing in that it recognises the long-term value of customer relationships and extends far beyond just a one-off sale.

The main reasons businesses are often not committed to relationship marketing is due to: a lack of resources, not having a clearly defined strategy and not having a simple system to keep in touch effectively. Loyal customers are extremely important to any business as referrals are free, whereas attracting new customers is a much more costly process.

In today’s technological age it is more important than ever to develop and maintain a good relationship with your customers, clients or prospects. E-mails often remain unopened or aren’t even received due to spam filters. Phone calls and text messages are easily forgotten or ignored. However, a greeting card or postcard is often kept or passed on if it includes a personal message and includes your business details discreetly.

Many top sales professionals have built their businesses on the strength of their personal relationships with clients, which are built over time through the sending of personal notes.

What if you took a picture of a customer or client, their business, product or their staff and turned it into a greeting card? What if you downloaded an image that was quirky and different and would make your contacts smile so that they would remember you and pass your name on? If you sent just a Christmas Card or New Year Card and birthday card twice a year, this in itself would ensure they remember you for as little as £3.60 including postage per client, with the cost being spread evenly throughout the year if you budget for it. Don’t you think this would make you stand-out from your competitors who simply do not do this? If they remember you, it will be you they ring when they next need the type of service/product you provide.

Nowadays only 3% of post received is personal, so why not be different and show your business contacts that you care about them and their business and ensure they remember you.

If you would like any help or advice on how to build long-term relationships with your business contacts please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.  Would also love to hear your comments below if you found value in this post.

Until next time

Nicky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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