UPGRADING YOUR REFERRALDirk Zeller
Implementing a strategy to upgrade your referrals can really explode your referral business. Most salespeople get the name and contact information and try to get off the phone immediately to call the prospect. That is a significant mistake. Follow these steps to increase the odds of your success.
1. You must immediately thank the referral source. Assure them of the quality service their referral will receive. You are giving them your personal guarantee. Before close of business, today, write out a handwritten thank you note at a minimum. You can use gifts or other inducements as well, but the handwritten note doesn’t necessarily need them.
2. Determine the quality or level of the referral.
We are trying to increase the probability of the referral for us. The first step is to secure more information before we make the first call. The first call is the point at which you will win these people over or not. Determine which of these four categories their referral will be.
C Level – This referral is the coldest variety. The conversion rate is at the lowest level. Your referral source has only given the name and phone number of a potential prospect. They have not allowed you to use their name to create an opening or connection.
B Level – I would describe this referral as lukewarm. The odds are improving, but still probably less than 50/50 conversion. The referral has given you the prospect’s name and phone number. They have given you one thing the C level did not, permission to use their name as the referral source to open the door. That certainly helps the connection on the first call.
A Level – We are getting warmer with this referral. Again, you have the prospect’s name and number, but you have also been granted permission to use the name of your referral source to open the dialogue door. The best part is the source has given you time to ask questions. They are willing to give you five or ten minutes to explore the referred individual to probe and help increase the odds of connecting with the prospect.
AA Level – This should be the level we all shoot for. It’s the Cadillac of referrals. It’s all that the A level has with one huge difference. You have all the information that you have with an A, but the referral source is willing to open the door for you himself. They are willing to make an introduction call personally for you. This call doesn’t replace your call. It only makes it easier to call and raise the chance of a positive result quicker. You might find that a really effective referral source can set up lunch or breakfast meeting with everyone involved.
To increase your conversion odds of connecting with the referred individual invest the time with the referral source, explore these questions. This will only take you five to ten minutes but will be well worth the time.
- How would you describe your relationship?
- How do you know this person?
- Is there anything that you can see that we have in common?
- What type of a personality will I encounter?
- What organizations does this person belong to?
- What are a few of this person’s personal interests?
3. Thank your referral source again.
Once you have secured as much information as possible, again, offer your assurance that you’ll provide the same level of quality service that your referral source has received from you in the past.
Don’t make referrals complicated. Success is simple, it’s not complicated. Referrals aren’t a complex system or strategy. Success in referrals is achieved through consistency of the fundamental process of client connection and client service. You may already know some of the things I have shared with you here. The truth about success is that sometimes it’s better to hear something you have heard before but are not doing than to hear something new. Make the commitment to execute the fundamentals in your referral section of your business. That objective will create the growth you desire.