Who Do You Know?
The grand daddy of all referral questions is JUST as relevant today. I was reminded of this when I read an article recently. Here are some quick facts and ideas taken from that article that may remind you of the simple things that often get overlooked.
66% of all business generated by 95% of the successful agents come from 4 sources: friends, family, acquaintances, or a co-worker. That is 2/3rds of all business. How much money and time do you spend mining THOSE targets? Probably less time then you spend on your internet presence yet almost all your business likely does NOT come from the internet!
According to the Direct Marketing Assoc. (DMA), it is 16 times MORE profitable to market your existing sphere of influence then it is to find new business. So you want to make more money? Talk to your friends! Your Sphere of Influence can refer you tons of business if you let them. Here are some tips from the DMA:
- Monthly contact. The DMA suggests that the optimum number of days between contacts is 21. Monthly should be your minimum. Put a system in place to avoid the possibility of it getting lost in the shuffle. Think of it this way: for every month you miss, how many prospects or referrals will you lose? Systems=reliability=customer loyalty=predictability of income.
- Make it about them. Don’t ask for a referral EVERY time! Put them on a drip campaign that mails to them each month, but take the time every 30-90 days to call with something of interest, invite them to lunch or coffee, share with them a current event, make a good impression!
- Reward them for their actions. Remember that behavior that is rewarded – is repeated. So if someone sends you a referral, reward them with a gift and personally thank them for their generosity. If someone has done you the courtesy of choosing you to do business with—reward them!
- Be responsive. Do not leave your clients hanging. If you receive a call or email or any point of contact, make it a point to get in touch with them within 24 hours. Ours is an instant gratification society. The DMA statistics show that when it comes to providing WOW service, the factor that matters MOST to consumers 90% of the time is communication!
- Reciprocate! Start immediately creating reciprocal relationships with area businesses and like-minded entrepreneurs. If you begin referring consumers to local restaurants, financial planners, CPAs, attorneys, builders, shop owners and doctors – do you think they’d be likely to start sending business your way as well? You bet!
It is really not rocket science, just “old fashioned” sales. But the stuff still works. In fact, in this information overload age, more then ever, there is a premium on relationships. Despite all the Billions of dollars spent on ads and the thousands of sales pitches you get hit with a day, people still prefer referrals. So cultivate them and let’s get some business rolling! For more ideas and ways I can grow your business, give me a call at 860-282-6181. Have an awesome week!