Let’s talk about referrals.
In today’s Myrland Marketing Moment, I shared this with readers:
“If you don’t have a formal Referral Recognition Program, you should!”
Why? Because few things in business are more satisfying than receiving a referral from a current or past client, a friend or a colleague. This tells us our work is appreciated and worthy of recommending to others. It also helps us grow our business through the efforts of others.
How do we make sure we keep referrals coming? There are many ways, but I will tackle a couple here today. Here’s a 7-Step Program for you to follow:
First, make sure you are doing great work. Be someone who is easy to refer. Ask yourself if you would want to refer you if you were the recipient of your work.
Second, let your contacts know your business relies on referrals, and that if they find it appropriate to mention you to others in need, you would be most appreciative. People like to help people they like. It makes them feel good to contribute to your success.
Third, the very day you find out you’ve been referred, call or email the generous person who did so and let them know how appreciative you are, and that you will let them know what happens.
Fourth, within two days, send whatever your Level One Referral Recognition gift is to that person with a personal note. It could be a small box of fabulous cookies, a $10 Starbucks card (I’ve been the recipient of both and loved the surprise!), something you make….really, it can anything that is genuine and heartfelt.
Fifth, when you schedule a meeting with this new referral, call or email the referrer and let them know you are planning on talking to this person at such-and-such time, and that you will continue to keep them updated. Thank them again.
Sixth, if this referral turns in to business, send your Level Two Referral Recognition gift to the referrer. This should definitely be larger and more valuable than Level One so the message is clear. Write, yes write, a gracious note that lets that person know exactly what happened. Don’t get in to price and confidential details that are between you and your new client, but let them know the general nature of the business you will be conducting. Once again, make sure you say thank you.
Seventh, once or twice a year, create a card (have your designer, printer, www.48hourprint.com or www.vistaprint.com design and print them) that is specifically worded to your referral sources and how thankful you are for them, how much your business thrives because of them, etc., and send to all your referral sources EVEN if you haven’t received one from a particular source in a long time. Keep your name and need in front of them, and help them remember why they sent business to you in the first place.
Again, there are many ways we can build a Referral Recognition Program that is unique to your business, but these seven should put you well on your way to building and nurturing referrals for years to come.