The 7 Areas Critical to Sales Success...area #4...
Guiding Advocates to Help You Build Your Business
To build your business by referrals we can't just ask "oh by the way...". We need to teach our sphere how to refer people to us. I know that might sound strange and you might be asking "how do we ‘teach' someone to refer people?" We can teach by leading. We should be leading our sphere through a referral process and ultimately asking for specific referrals from their place of work (as an example) instead of the generic example I gave in the first sentence.
Let's think this through then you can let me know if this makes sense.
•1. We/You need to define "advocates".
- Are advocates people who have used your service or just know you and trust you?
- Can someone who hasn't used your service refer someone to you?
I think the answer to these questions are: They only need to know you - sure it's better if they have actually had you represent them as a buyer or seller...but your best friend might not be in the market at the time...but you know they'll be a raving fan for you - if they know you have the knowledge to represent the person they refer to you.
Knowledge and experience are two key ingredients to gaining trust...trust is key #1 to receiving referrals.
2. Develop a strategy to continually build trust
- Relevant information
- Regularly scheduled repetition
3. Ask for specific referrals from their specific spheres
- Ask for Buyers or Sellers from
- Work Place, friends, associations or neighborhood
When we ask for referrals we tend to ask in a generic manner. The problem with this approach is the people we are asking want to provide you with a quick "no, nobody comes to mind..." when we are asked to give a friend, co-worker's or neighbors' name as a referral.
We don't want the sales person to call them and say "your friend _______ suggested I call you..." - unless we know there is "real value" being offered by making the contact.
Be sure to ask specifically - "has anyone at work mentioned wanting to buy a home?" When you ask in this manner their mind - working like a computer - automatically goes to conversations they have had at work. If they've heard someone mention buying...they'll recall that and more then likely share that with you.
Don't be tempted to ask "has anyone at work mentioned buying or selling a home? You'll always get better results with a specific request then a generic one.
General Note: I see too many agents trying to target both buyers and sellers at the same time with the same ad...this only dilutes the effectiveness of your marketing.
Since you'll be contacting your advocates on a regular basis you can switch your specific referral request each time to ask about their different spheres.
4. Make sure you are providing real value instead of being a real pain!
This topic is soooo huge...I can't post all of it here.
Good luck and Happy Sales,