We are often told that referrals are a great way to build a business, however in reality many people are reluctant to give a referral. So don’t ask for one!
Instead, ask for an introduction. An “introduction” sounds much less threatening and informal than a referral. Most people are quite comfortable about introducing one person to another.
Here are some tips to help you find introductions:
- Train yourself to listen for and be aware of activities and opportunities to give and receive introductions and support, for your own business and others.
- What goes around, comes around.Give and ask regularly. Be genuine with your support and your offers.
- Ask for help. People like to contribute and help. It shows you value their opinion and trust them.
- Write prompts in your diary or by your phone to remind you to ask. Write down questions like “who do you know who?”, “what do you need..?” and “how can I be of service to you?”
- Challenge yourself to say hello to one person a day who is within one metre of you. Simply say hello, and create an opening for a conversation. You only need some people to respond.
- If it is not working, change it.
- Use emotive reasons for people to help you and the response rate will increase. Facts open the mind and emotions open the check book.
Use words that create visual pictures for people. For instance a successful insurance sales rep does not tell a potential client “this policy will pay you $500,000 if you die.” They are more likely to say “this policy will make sure that your children are fed and educated, and that your family can continue to live in your freehold home.” Don’t be afraid- ask up front and out loud. Tell your clients that you are going to make them so happy they will gladly give you five introductions and then make sure you live up to that expectation!
Talking about expectations, expect introductions from everyone you meet, don’t just hope for them. You expect the light to come on when you flick the light switch, you don’t hope it will!
Do what is necessary to turn an introduction into a sale and then into a new client relationship. Make sure you deserve that person’s business both initially and for the long term.
The advantages of building your business this way are many:
- It is very cost effective compared to cold calling.
- It enables you to find leads in your target market.
- It increases client retention by making clients feel worthwhile and a part of the company. Because they have introduced you they have a feeling of involvement. Over time this builds trust which is invaluable.
- Customers who have been introduced are less price conscious.
To deserve introductions you have to be a good business, so the process helps you to stay on top of your game and find ways to improve. It is a lot more fun than other marketing methods so be sure to enjoy the process!
Brad Sugars founded the brand Action International in 1993 when he realized there was a disconnect between business advice and implementation. The answer was Action! Brad Sugars created a business coaching company so that business owners throughout the world can realize their goals in business. Today the company is known as ActionCOACH. To learn more about business, visit Brad Sugars Review blog!