“I got a referral!” Not so fast! Before you celebrate, do you know what to do with that referral? You’re probably sitting there thinking: “Sure, I’m going to call them up and make an appointment and get a new client.” Again, I say: “Not so fast. Are you sure that is the best way to proceed?” I bring you back to why people in The Action Suite have success. As a reminder, it is because they are D.U.M.B.; Different, Unique, Memorable and Believable.
As you may recall, that is a major component of The Action Suite and other programs. I also state that: “The DUMBer you are the more successful you will be.” Therefore, how one handles a referral is completely different than the way that it may have been handled in the past.
Handling referrals in the following manner will get you more than one referral, in general, from the same source.
First: Obviously, thank them for the referral and ask if they will do you a little favour. Ask them if they would be willing to call the referral and make an introduction. It would sound something like this:
“Bill, thanks so much for the referral. Can I ask for one little favour?”
“Could you phone Ted and let him know I will be dropping by?”
Conclusion; when you go see Ted it is no longer a ‘cold call,’ but a warm one.
Secondly: This is the most critical step that everyone misses, but makes Bill want to give you more referrals. Once you have the meeting with Ted, send Bill a quick email and let him know how it went. How do I know this works? From all the comments and appreciation that I get from those that send me referrals. It does not have to be an overly wordy email, but it has to be immediate. Something as simple as:
‘Hi Bill just wanted to tell you once again thanks for putting me in touch with Ted and to let you know that at the end of the meeting we have agreed to a clear defined next step where I will be providing more information on what we can do. Thought you would like to know.’
Believe me, Bill wants to know.
Thirdly: If Ted becomes a client or if he decides there is no fit, send Bill a personalized hand written thank you card with a little message as to the final outcome. Again, simple, but no one is doing it.
The note again should be brief. Something like:
‘Bill, a short note to tell you that Ted is now one of my satisfied clients and to once again to thank you for making the introduction. I appreciate your continued support.’
If Ted decides, no. Then the message can read:
‘Bill a short note to tell you that Ted does not see a fit at this time, but still really want to thank you for making the introduction.’
How do we build the referral network? Simply repeat the above process except, this time you ask Ted for the referral and to make the introduction. However, it is unnecessary from this point on to let Bill know how that meeting went.
The next time Bill or Ted or whoever else is giving you referrals comes across someone that may need your product or service, who do you think they are telling them to talk to you? If you want to keep it going, again repeat the process.
“Hey Bill, I spoke with Sally, thanks so much for sending her to me. We have had our first meeting and…”.
Appreciate others and others will appreciate you.