Are you looking to increase your business referrals? In part two of this post, we explore more ways to do that.
Have you had a chance to check out part one of this post about business referrals? If not, now would be a good time to go back and read those first few tips. Let’s continue on now with the rest of the ways we can go about getting and using referrals for business.
Tip # 6: Become the Messenger
Be sure to give the referral gifts out promptly on sold referrals. Deliver it in person, since it also serves as an excellent time to prime the pump for additional referrals. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple discipline. I know of ‘millionaires’ who reopened their black books after receiving $20 dollar gift certificates. After all, it’s not about the amount, it’s about the gesture. And because you are spending your valuable time being the messenger, you will without a doubt focus on receiving one or two more warm leads.
Tip # 7: Promote a Grass Roots Chamber Program
Offer local Chambers a deal they cannot refuse. Chambers want to offer their members a better deal, one that their members cannot receive from regular street pricing. They are open to donations to help their chamber and are also motivated to grow their membership. Instead of offering a residual based off of sales, offer to bring them in a certain number of new members each month. After all, a certain percentage of businesses you call on will not be members, and if you can show them a return on their investment, they will certainly join the Chamber to receive it. By helping others you will see your referral ratio reach the sky! Be an active member of your local chamber.
Tip # 8: Identify Potential ‘Bird Dogs’
‘Bird dogs’ are used by hunters to point and fetch game birds for their owners. In sales, a ‘bird dog’ is someone who has multiple relationships with your potential customers and they are motivated to routinely feed your contacts for your marketing efforts. Research potential business people that may fit into this profile, and take them out to lunch. Explain your referral program and how it could supplement their core business revenue stream. For potential ‘Big Hitters’ be prepared to customize your referral program to align with their motivations. Treat them like gold and they will open up their address book.
Tip # 9: ‘Get Married’ to a Collaboration Partner
There are companies that provide products or services in your ‘value chain’ but do not compete directly with your product or service. (THIS IS A BIG ONE folks) Those companies and the professional individuals that sell for them should be a point of concentration for you to identify and contact for strategies of collaboration. I refer to this relationship as “Natural Marriages.” Contact 3 sales professionals that seem to indicate a ‘natural marriage’ for you and them. Outline what’s in it for them. Then ask them what you could reasonably expect over time.
Tip # 10: Join or Start a Lead Group
You have to eat lunch and or breakfast, right? So why not join or consider becoming part of a Referral Group like BNI. A BNI Chapter is full of entrepreneurial individuals who are motivated to get together referrals. Share referrals. Find individuals who are accountable for bringing in the minimum amount of referrals, one per month is the suggestion of BNI’s founder Ivan Misner. Make sure every member is covered by the 80-20 rule, getting 80% of their referrals from 20% of the members. And don’t be shy about holding them accountable.