We all want clients and COI’s to refer, but first we have to make it easy for people to help. The folks described below made it HARD for me to refer. Read on (or download in PDF), you’ll be even more motivated to make it easy for people to deliver you business. I was!
Referral Killer 1: Lost in Details
I met with a business owner to learn more and hopefully refer their business. Sadly, I left the meeting befuddled. It was a flood of possibilities, options and choices. My head was spinning. No way could I describe their business with any clarity.
Referral Save 1: Keep it Simple
Deliver a clear & concise summary. Research shows people can’t process too many choices. Even 5 is too much. Use the magic of 3. Identify no more than 3 main services or differentiators. If you work with different groups, outline no more than 3 niche groups. Most of us struggle to condense our message (me too). Remember, if they’re confused, they can’t refer.
Referral Killer 2: Ugly Marketing Material
In another referral meeting, I met a very accomplished professional who has great knowledge and a valuable service. Then I got handed a poorly designed, cheap and unprofessional brochure.
Referral Save 2: Show your Best
Show your best. An elegant business card is better than a bad brochure. Be digitally savvy. Create a great website, carry a tablet and show your website live. Then follow up with a customized digital attachment. Compared to high quality print, digital is much more flexible and economical. It can be customized quickly and cheaply.
Referral Killer 3: Poor Follow-up
In two additional situations, I wanted to refer clients and requested a summary that I could include with the introductions. In one case, I got partial information that could not be forwarded on. In the other case, I got a “thank you” for meeting but no summary, which may arrive some point, I don’t know.
Referral Save 3: Deliver with Speed, Class & Gratitude
I was primed and motivated to make good introductions. The poor follow-up not only made it hard, it also reduced my interest and confidence in referring. In addition, it felt that my time and effort were not valued.
The Bottom Line: Make it EASY!
If we make it hard for people to help, it can look both unprofessional and ungrateful, which just might kill the referral completely. No one will recommend someone who might embarrass them.
It was a powerful reminder to make it EASY for people to refer!