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How To Generate Consistent Client Referrals: A Lesson

Aug 17, 2007
Let me begin today with a question I received from Cynthia from Greenville, SC. She writes:

"How do I get started with an organized process that helps me get more consistent referrals?"

First, Cynthia is a true pro for wanting to improve. I get asked this question a lot in my coaching sessions and teleconference calls.

Essentially, the biggest problem most white collar professionals (attorneys, insurance agents, investment advisors, realtors, etc.) have with referrals is lack of an organized approach. True, you may get your share of referrals now. But imagine what would happen if you tweaked your approach by say, a scant 10 percent?

What would happen to your income, peace of mind and time off?

Law of averages says it would likely go up 100 percent. Why? Because of what I call "L.F.," which is short for leverage factor.

Let's take an example of a business that currently has serves 100 clients. Many are active clients; some are not. In this instance, by improving referral organization and conversations by 10 percent, or once in every ten encounters with a client, I am suggesting this would have a positive impact on your income, peace of mind and freedom to the tune of 100 percent. This is because every conversation has the effect of generating new found revenue for literally zero cost of sales.

So how do you create an organized process that is easy and simple to follow, and brings you real results?

One way (there are actually seven I teach) is to focus on your client meetings as a way of talking about your work. I addressed this in a recent newsletter, which I stated: focus on affirming and reinforcing your value. One of the best ways to do this is through client interaction, and specifically, one-on-one client meetings. Breakfast or lunch meetings are perfect scenarios for this.

Why use a client meeting, you ask? Look no further than...

The Key Concept

Active, quality referrals don't happen if you don't talk about them.

This month, start to block 10 minutes at then end of each client meeting to talk about the subject of referrals. Let the client know ahead of time you'll be having a short "brainstorming session." No surprises here: You want their permission before you start discussing the subject of referrals and introductions. (If you're lost on what to say, send me a note).

Then a few days later, follow-up with a letter that summarizes and lists what I call the *2N's* from your meeting: Names and Needs. You want the complete buy-in from the referrer prior to contacting the names they gave you.

Simple? Easy? Effective? Yes. Yes. Yes!

So why don't more professionals do this? The obvious reasons are that it is both unnatural and often scary to them.

1. It is often unnatural and scary to tell a client that you are interested in growing, and that you value them and would like their assistance in helping you to grow.

2. If it often unnatural and scary to share with a client that your business is at a certain level in terms of client size and earnings - "Point A," and you are interested in growing (to "Point B").

3. It is often unnatural and scary to disclose to a client that you have hopes and dreams of growing, developing, and serving more people because you are fearful they client may think you will neglect them.

Note that the common theme here is "growing." You need to understand that growth is healthy, natural and a sign of ambition. It is yet a positive, encouraging and outward contribution to a local and community business climate that often can be quite stagnating.

Quite simply, people enjoy others that are positive, excited and ambitious. In fact, I would suggest we don't have nearly enough people around us in our day to day lives with these enthusiastic qualities. Reach out to your clients. Share your hopes, visions and dreams. And show them how they can help contribute.
You'll be amazed by their reaction.

Keep looking up!
About the Author
Daryl T. Logullo is the Founder of Strategic Impact! and Marketing-Referrals-Tools.com He concentrates on referral building strategies for today's professional. Get "The Most Powerful Referral 'Secret' Ever Discovered," instantly delivered at http://www.marketing-referral-tools.com
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