How To Generate Referrals
Why am I not generating the sales referrals I want? This is a question which many business networking professionals frequently ask and there are 10 simple mistakes to overcome. Below I have listed some questions you need to answer honestly that highlight the top reasons why you’re not generating the business referrals that you’re looking for, some related to what you are offering others related to the way you go about seeking sales referrals
Is there a market for my product or service?
It is harsh reality that there are many people out there flogging a service or product which nobody needs, and it is all too easy to turn a blind eye to this. Often we seek the opinions of our friends and family before starting out in business and, not wanting to offend, they enthusiastically support your ideas. But there is no substitute for thorough market research before you set up, to ensure that you truly do have a market.
Am I offering good value for money?
You may have a great service but if it appears as poor value for money your clients will find something better to spend their money on. How does your service really add value to your clients?
Am I communicating the benefits of my service or product effectively?
Do you clearly convey the benefits of your products or services to your potential customers leaving them with no doubt in their mind as to how you can be of real help to them? Or do you just talk all about what you do? Often we area so passionate about what we do that we can talk for hours and hours, but if we do not communicate the essential benefits to a potential referrer how will they understand and be able to communicate these benefits to others?
Do I have an effective business referral marketing strategy?
The generation of referrals comes when you take an overall planned approach to this method of marketing your services. You need to understand what you are aiming to achieve and how exactly you will achieve it.
Do people know, like and trust me enough?
When people make recommendations to others their own reputation is on the line and generally they refer people’s services to be helpful. It follows there fore that they will only refer your services if they know you and understand what you have to offer, they like you and trust you.
Am I networking with the right people?
Undoubtedly some people are better referrers for your business than others because they find it easier to understand what you do and some people are more likely to have the contacts you are looking for than others. You can soon gauge whether people understand what you – are they asking you relevant questions that indicate that they do?
Have I asked for business referrals?
If you appear successful and say things like ‘yes I’m so busy’ at the moment people will assume that you do not require any more business. Ask them for sales referrals but choose your time to ask for referrals carefully.
Am I specific about the sales referrals I am looking for?
So many people make the mistake of being vague about the type of customers they are looking for or saying ‘I’m looking for any customer.’ You need to be more specific than this if your contacts are going to remember you for what you do and how you can help people. E.g. ‘I am particularly looking for women who want to lose weight’ or ‘I am looking for businesses who are just moving offices’ will generate a much higher referral rate. Even better define organisation you are looking for…OK not everyone will have a contact there but sooner or later you will find someone who does.
Am I good enough at what I do?
We all hate to admit that we are not offering a good enough service, however if people have bought your services but have not given you even a verbal testimonial, or have not recommended you to others perhaps your service has not come up to scratch. If you suspect this is the case (and even if you haven’t). Carry out a customer satisfaction survey to establish what your clients think.