One of the best ways to build your business is through referrals. Unfortunately, for most business owners and salespeople, referral business does not come without some hard work. If only there were easier ways to increase clients through referrals. How much would your business increase if you were provided with one referral from every existing client?
Even better, what if your existing client provided you with a quality introduction to a new prospective client? The difference between a referral and a quality introduction is simple, but significant. A referral is a lead passed on from a client which typically includes just the individuals name and contact information. However, this lead ends up as a glorified “cold call” most of the time. A quality introduction, on the other hand, is a completely different opportunity. It’s a more personal introduction by your client that includes an endorsement about why this client relies on your products or services, and most importantly, how you helped the client to solve a problem or achieve results.
Next, we should eliminate the “head-trash” that we all burden ourselves with every day. I define “head-trash” as the reservations, fears, and negative past experiences that keep us from thinking and acting clearly to achieve the results we desire. For example, if you aren’t currently comfortable when asked for a referral from an associate, chances are you won’t feel comfortable asking for one yourself. Another important factor in removing “head trash” is your confidence. You must truly believe that you are the best and most qualified individual in your industry to do the job.
Now, put the two parts together. Eliminate your head-trash by believing that you are helping others by asking for the referral. Then, upgrade the introduction by preparing your existing client for your introduction. For example, after asking a client for an introduction, he might say “I have a great lead for you. Here’s his name and number.” Now is the time to move the referral to a quality introduction by asking a few background questions about the prospect, and replying, “Thank you, would you do me a personal favor? Would you call your friend and give them a little background about how we met, why we started working together, and the results you’ve achieved since working with me? Also, at the end of your conversation, would you make sure that he will accept my call?” In most cases, your existing client is more than happy to comply with this request.
Try to eliminate “head-trash” and give this approach a try with your happiest and most loyal clients. You’ll see the difference in the introductions you receive, how receptive they are to meet with you, and most importantly, their interest in doing business with you.
About Steve Fretzin
Driven, focused and passionate about helping business professionals reach their full potential, Steve Fretzin is a Chicago area premiere business coach, speaker and author. He provides one-on-one coaching, group training and seminars through Sales Results Inc., a company he founded. In addition to Sales Results Inc., Fretzin oversees Team Discovery, LLC, the American Club Association, and Networking Monkey, LLC, the number one ranked portal on Google for Chicago area networking events.