This blog post is for any firm or individual that has clients and a client base, rather than customers. It follows on from our other blog posts on Referral Marketing. Referral Marketing is the best business development strategy there is for Service Providers.
Simple is best - it’s easier to ask for referrals with just one sentence, it’s clearly faster and efficient and less likely to be left out of a meeting than a long rehearsed speech on why you want referrals and how the system benefits the client, etc. However, you need to memorise a longer set of effective phrases when you come up against resistance to referral giving.
Remember the attributes discussed in previous posts - KNOW, TRUST AND LIKE - if these are in place objections and hesitations will rarely happen.
I have a 300 word speech from years ago written by an American referral marketing guru - it’s over the top but the core principles contained within it can hardly be argued with. When resistance occurs a better set of phrases is needed based on the core principles; just asking is NOT sufficient. Clients need to know why you work a referral system and how it benefits them in many ways, and why you would like them to refer people they know to you.
Learning stock phrases and how to handle objections in a non-confrontational way is the key. This needs to be learnt, it should be embedded, tested and analysed on an on-going basis. The benefits will soon be realised. Those that become good at it will inspire and coach others eventually.
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Remember a nice bottle of something as a thank you for each referral. How about posting some of your branded merchandise to the client's place of work too. A great idea is a coffee mug with your company name, what you do well, your web address and phone number on it and importantly the words THANK YOU written on the other side - just an idea. Point is, their work colleagues will see it and it will not be thrown away.