Hot Referral Tips
1. N.E.uses classic forms of both the implied endorsements
and bandwagon effect to help enlist new referrers. When she calls
on a recent startup, she takes along a list of all the other firms
who have referred prospects to her in the past three months. And
reviews the list with the startup.
The startup can't help but be impressed. It is an impressive strategy.
The reason is that no other business does this. So when no competitor
promotes similarly, she stands out from the crowd and builds her
referrer base… even when the startup, itself doesn't do business
2. As in all referring relationships, a quick thank you
note to the referrer is mandatory! Hardly anything is more important.
Even better… a personal call followed by a note.
In your note, illustrate how you had an effect on the business
or person they referred to you. Try to describe your efforts, or
more importantly, your outcomes for the referred person both specific
and quantifiable. If appropriate to your business, even show before-and-after
photos. Or show test results. Anything to demonstrate your expertise
and how much you helped the referree.
3. If someone stops referring, immediately get a face-to-face
meeting. But don't ask why they stopped referring. That makes the
person feel defensive. Instead ask for help. You want their advice
so you can improve your business. What would they recommend? Remember,
their perception is your reality.
4. Tracking referrers is critical. This will tell you who has stopped
or reduced referrals. So you can immediately take action. It tells
you whom you have impressed. So you can be more attentive to keeping
up these associations.
And it lets you know when you're getting overly dependent on one
or a few sources and need to broaden your base to make sure you
don't experience a bad luck from an unexpected loss of a referrer.
5. The "care and feeding" of referrers is critical.
A lunch-a-week with a different existing referrer will help you
avoid losing touch with your good ones. And individual mini-marketing
plans targeting your top three high-potential referrers will target
your efforts for the highest efficiency and return.
6. When you get a new client or customer, you collect some
information about them. You do, right? A little reverse engineering
of your new business contact forms could tell you from whom your
clients or customers buy other services. If these other businesses
seem to have a longer term relationship with the client, let your
new customer know you will drop these businesses a quick note telling
them you are now doing business with their client (your new customer)
and that you want the best for their client. And inquire as to any
characteristics of your customer they have learned which you should
Of course, this makes you look competent, concerned and thorough.
And generates referrals -- or builds bridges, so you can now call
and suggest a meeting with those other businesses to get to know
one another since you have customers or clients in common.
Remember, this works well with businesses that tend to have an
ongoing relationship with a client, such as CPAs, computer or network
maintenance firms, banks, marketing firms, bookkeepers and possibly
And don't overlook businesses that seem outside your normal referring