One of the most important aspects of selling is to remember that the difference between earning enough and earning more than enough knowing how to maximise client referrals.
Here are some tips for getting more client referrals, regardless of what industry you work in:
1. Realise you're never just working with one client. Every sales interaction you have is not only with the person in front of you but their friends, co-workers and family. If you make a good impression and perform for clients every time, you will automatically come to the forefront of their mind when anyone asks for a recommendation.
2. Dole out business cards like candy. Every time you introduce yourself to someone (at the dentist office, the bus station – even at home when the plumber comes calling), casually hand over your business card. Everyone you meet is either a potential customer or knows a potential customer. They don't have to be your current client in order to refer you.
3. Offer a reward for referrals. Turn over your business card. There should be a coupon for a cash incentive for client referrals on the back. If there isn't, have more cards printed up this way. Make it easy for your clients to earn a quick fifty quid by referring business to you. TIP: Don't insult people and skimp on the incentive. It should be no less than £50. Even more if you're in a high-end sales job.
4. Three letters, one word: ASK. When business is slow or you have a few minutes while you wait for a listing partner to arrive, reel out the Rolodex and fish for referrals. It never hurts to ask past clients how they've been enjoying the offering you had sold them and, by the way, do they know anyone else who has expressed interest?
Remind them about your cash incentive (you took care of those business cards, right?), and end the call with a promise to keep in touch with new product news.
5. Remind them how good your customer support can be. With commonly available CRM, you can keep track of clients' anniversary dates of when they bought whatever you sold them. On their six-month and year anniversary dates, snail-mail them a handwritten anniversary card just checking in and asking them to refer business to you. The six-month date is important to keep because after a whole year, your handsome face may have faded from their memory. TIP: Do not delegate this to your secretary and do not send an e-card. Make it personal.
6. Be genuine. People can tell when you're just phoning it in. When you truly care about helping people make the correct buying decisions, they will be able to feel your sincerity and pass on your good business practices to their friends and associates. You might think you can fake it but you can't. Call it ESP, telepathy, or social awareness but it's rooted in truth and that's right where you want to be.
Selling is hard, even for those to whom it comes naturally. Encouraging client referrals makes your job a little easier.