You’ve heard me say many times that four of the most important, profit generating words you could ever use are: Who Do You Know?
Even some of the biggest producers in the world, fall well short of what they could be doing if they simply asked for more referrals in their business.
- It must be a Win-Win: Getting referrals isn’t only about you. There must be some type of benefit to the person giving you the referral. Obviously, the benefit to your client or referral giver could vary widely. But…the most important thing to understand is that IF they were to give you a referral, they must have SOME benefit from it. Some examples of benefits to your referral giver are: Getting a call from the person they referred you to saying “Wow! Thank you. I am so glad you had Todd call me and introduce me to….” A simple heart felt thank you, either done so personally or by sending them a card, or even a gift of some kind.
Each person you meet knows hundreds that you don’t. That is simply fact. Unfortunately, that fact doesn’t always bring common sense into play for most people. You have to realize that every person that you make contact with can potentially be a powerful resource for your business, if you simply realize that they know a whole bunch of people that you don’t know that could possibly be great candidates for either your product or your business. Just knowing that should get you at least excited to begin playing the referral game.
- Know when to ask. There are several times during the process of communicating with someone when it may be appropriate to ask. Number one, after someone has said “no” to you. Just because they aren’t personally interested, doesn’t mean that they don’t know someone who may be ideal for what it is that you are offering. Number two, after you either sign them up in your business or sell them your product. This is an ideal time to ask. They’ve already made the decision to buy from you. And, there’s a good chance that if THEY like it, they would be more than happy to share it with others. But, you’ve got to ask to get. Number three, after you have provided them with outstanding service and follow-up. Let’s say you just got a customer on your product. During their first 30 days or so, you were in regular contact with them making sure that everything was going well and that they were getting maximum use out of whatever they were using or consuming. This would certainly be a perfect time to ask, as they are now realizing that you are on your game, which would make them feel even more comfortable in giving you some referrals. Lastly, any other time. The Bible says, “Ask and ye shall receive.” Bottom line: If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So…start asking.
Give and get…it’s not all about you. Be willing to give them something instead of just being a taker. For example, if I was having a conversation with a guy who owns a pool company, I might ask him, “How would I know if I was talking with the right kind of person for your business?” That way, I could keep my eyes and ears open for people as I go about living my life and possibly send HIM some business as well.
- Be consistent. Always be asking. Again, as with everything in life, consistency is critical. When I first started getting into the habit of asking for referrals, I had to tape a post-it note on my computer screen that said, “Who do you know?”, just to remind me to ask for referrals EVERY day. Now…it’s habit. Make it a habit for you as well. It’s a good one to have.
Stay in contact, even when you aren’t seeking the business. I give referrals to people that maintain contact with me. The person that calls me only to pitch me his or her newest program is very unlikely to get referrals from me. However, the person that maintains contact with me on a regular basis, even when they AREN’T trying to sell me something is the one most likely to get a referral. Consistency of contact builds relationships. Calling ONLY when you want to sell someone something breaks down the relationship.
- Network! My goodness, we ARE in network marketing. So, go out there and become a network. There are lots of ways to meet people and share referrals with one another. Join a local Chamber of Commerce and attend mixers, and join a networking group like BNI or LeTip. You can find a local BNI chapter by going to http://www.BNI.com or a LeTip chapter by going to http://www.LeTip.com Online, there are choices as well, including sites like http://www.MySpace.com or network marketing specific sites like http://www.MagneticSponsoring.com
- Make sure your timing is right. Don’t be asking for a referral after 30-seconds of talking with someone and getting a negative response from them. You don’t know them, they don’t know you, and they are very unlikely to give you a referral because of that. Timing is critical.
- Expect referrals. Build it into your business. I EXPECT people to give me referrals when I’ve done a good service to them. I expect nothing less. The more you have it in your mind that you EXPECT it to happen, the greater the likelihood that it will.
- Send cards. I’ve been a card sender my entire life. In fact, during Christmas time, you’d find me spending 5 to 7 hours writing hand-written cards to all of my friends, business associates, and clients. Of course, that’s not the only time to send them. Get yourself in the habit of standing out from your competitors. Be willing to do things they aren’t willing to do. Something as simple as sending a handwritten greeting card goes a long way in solidifying relationships and getting them to remember you. Send a card to get referrals and when they’ve given you one.
- Remember the Law of Reciprocation. In his book “INFLUENCE: The Psychology of Persuasion,” Robert Cialdini talks in depth about this subject. The law of reciprocation essentially says this, “if you do something for someone, they feel an obligation to return the favor.” So, if you are constantly giving, doing good things for people, they are very likely to pay back the favor. In fact, there is a deep, underlying feeling that they must reciprocate for most people. Great read by the way! Get that book.
More coming soon!