PROFIT PILLAR VI: REFERRALS: YOUR ROAD TO RESULTS

Profit-Point 55:

Remember to R.E.M.E.M.B.E.R.

A client asked me recently, “Jeff, since you do extensive work with clients in lead generation and referrals, I was wondering, how come most businesspeople don’t use this effective business builder more often?”

It’s a great question. And you might conclude, referrals aren’t a more proactive lead generator because a salesperson believes:

  • they’re not part of their company’s culture
  • one thinks they might offend a satisfied customer with their request
  • they’ve already got plenty of leads
  • they consider a referred lead to be a “cold call”
  • they fear rejection, (meaning the request for a referral will be dismissed by their customer or referral source)
  • they fear rejection, (meaning their contact with the prospect or referred lead will be met with disinterest or disdain)

While the preceding might be rationalized justifications for inaction, they’re still not the number one reason for referral reluctance.

Believe it or not, countless clients have told me, the number one reason they don’t ask for referrals, is because…they forget. Amazing, but true!

So to help clients and now you, never forget, I developed a simple acronym:

R. E. M. E. M. B. E. R.

And I urge my clients and you…
to remember to

R. E. M. E. M. B. E. R.

R Referrals
E Every
M Moment
E Every
M Month
B Brings
E Excellent
R Results

Incredibly simple. Incredibly powerful.

To reinforce the power of this acronym and its application, my clients:

  • who earn six and seven figures, scrawl this word across the top of a legal pad page, as they prepare to meet a client or prospect, (this enables them to see the word REMEMBER during the actual client/prospect interview, so they’ll be sure to ask for referrals)
  • have it scroll across their computer as a screen saver
  • stick REMEMBER stickers to the tops of their desktop monitors
  • make REMEMBER buttons
  • string giant banners in their offices urging their team to:

    Remember to R.E.M.E.M.B.E.R.

© Blackman & Associates, LLC

Profit-Point 60:

Is it time?

When I’ve asked your fellow sales professionals, when’s the best time to ask for a referral, here’s what they said:

  • during a phone conversation
  • while filling out any type of paperwork or preliminary application
  • immediately following a sale
  • days after a sale is made, you should call and ask
  • days or weeks after a sale is made, you should send a letter and ask
  • during a face-to-face meeting

So when’s the best time to ask for referrals? Well, there are six answers:

  1. that’ll vary with your specific sales situation
  2. that’ll vary with your comfort level
  3. when you sense the time is right
  4. any time
  5. repeatedly
  6. all of the above

And, here’s how to do it.

© Blackman & Associates, LLC

Profit-Point 69:

It’s great to give!

So what’s the best way to thank someone who gives you a referral?

For the initial introduction, a thank you, (via the phone, a handwritten note or even e-mail) are simple and effective.

And how ‘bout when that introduction leads to a new customer or client?

Here’s where the fun begins. Because it gives you the opportunity to personalize a gift (if you choose.), based upon the referral source’s hobbies, interests and even charitable endeavors.

For example, to thank referral sources, some of the things I’ve done include:

  • send unique crystal figurines, (i.e., of a golfer or another object of significance or symbolism)
  • send exotic and unique flower arrangements
  • make a donation in the referral source’s name, to their favorite charity
  • treat them to dinner at their favorite five-star restaurant

Where appropriate, you can even consider a more formalized arrangement, with a spiff or commission being paid for referral introductions and booked business. This is obviously not a “common practice” with friends, clients or family. However, it can be a consideration with other professionals, business peers or service providers.

While a “gift” especially one that’s meaningful to the one who referred you, is always a winner, something as simplistic as a heartfelt note, can also be very impactful.

Here’s an example. Since 1993, I’ve been recommending Evelyn Zuehlke to my family, friends and clients. She’s more than a chiropractor, she’s my miracle worker! When I’ve been bent over in pain, Evelyn was always available to work her magic. (Once, she even gave me an adjustment at her home on a Sunday afternoon, only hours before an out-of-town trip.)

Evelyn is an extremely talented healthcare provider. Yet, she’s also, a really smart businesswoman. The following, is a letter she sent me:

Dear Jeff…

Some days, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours for us to get everything done. As a matter of fact, some weeks can be like that. Some of us even go through much of our lives feeling pressed for time.

And even though we may have the best intentions, sometimes we overlook or forget to acknowledge those to whom we owe our appreciation. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of that at one time or another.

But I have made a promise to myself that I won’t allow the pressures of Time and work to keep me from expressing my gratitude and appreciation to those, like yourself, who have shown confidence in me by referring others into the practice.

It may not seem to you that referring a family member, friend or co-worker to me is worthy of any special recognition, but I take my responsibilities to my patients very seriously and your trust in me is a much appreciated validation of my work.

I’d like to express my sincere thanks for your recent referral of Linda to my practice.

And I just want you to know that I consider you to be a valued friend of the practice and I hope that this small token of my esteem will serve as a constant reminder of my appreciation.

Evelyn always sends me stuff too, i.e., a pen, a mug, etc. Yet, what’s most meaningful, is her simple expression of gratitude.

© Blackman & Associates, LLC

P.I.T. Stop

P Provocative or Playful
I Inspirational or Informational
T Thoughts or Theories

Fresh air.One of my favorite questions for flight attendants is:

“What’s the funniest thing that ever happened in flight?”

A United flight attendant told me this gem:

Just prior to departure, she was doing a cabin check, when she noticed an elderly woman sitting quietly, but with something protruding from her nostrils.

As the flight attendant got closer, she discovered the woman had taken the audio-cord dangling from the seat-pocket in front of her and placed the double-pronged audio-inserts up her nose.

When the flight attendant politely asked, “Are you okay?” the woman calmly responded, “I felt woozy, but am fine now…thanks to the oxygen!”

“Behold the turtle: He only makes progress, when he sticks his neck out.”
James Bryant Conant

© Blackman & Associates, LLC

Profit Pillar VII: Mind & Money →

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Jeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, best selling author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: 847.998.0688 or sheryl@jeffblackman.com. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, (an Amazon Bestseller), and the revised 4th edition of the bestselling Peak Your Profits. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults