Ever write a review for a restaurant or a product or consult a review before you contacted a business or bought a product?
Reviews are a form of referral. They come from a person who has direct knowledge of what you’re looking for or want to buy.
Referrals are the lifeblood in any entrepreneurial business, in fact; up to 80% of jobs are found through networking! (Dave A. Delaney) But unlike reviews, referrals are more directed toward connecting you or your business to a specific individual. You are given a name and hopefully a phone number and/or an address (mail or email) so you can contact them.
But what happens when you call or contact them? You are often “cold calling” them and they don’t know if you are representing the facts correctly and may question everything you are saying.
Now imagine how that first contact would have gone had you been introduced to the other individual rather than just being referred? Wouldn’t that make the conversation so much easier? You bet and here’s why:
It helps them to know, like and trust you faster so the conversation quickly becomes less awkward and more productive.
So when you ask for a referral:
• Remember to ask for an introduction in addition to a name and number. Ask that they contact the referred person ahead of time to let them know you are calling and why or introduce you both by a joint email.
• It is very important that the referring individual tell both you and the other person you are being directed to, why they think the two of you should meet. If they don’t, both of you will wonder why you were connected and spend the time trying to figure that out, if you can figure it out at all.
• The referring person may have thought the two of you had something in common other than just being interested in your business offering. There could be many reasons but you and the referral won’t know unless told. Knowledge is power, always ask!
Requesting these additional steps of the referring person will make your referrals golden for your business and so much less stressful for both of you in your first contact.
In addition, did you know that over 80% of customers are willing to give a referral after a positive experience? (Incentive Fox) I share this to encourage you to consistently and confidently request referrals after a job well done; this will give your business a boost and an edge over the rest!
To help you, I have compiled a pdf with tips and examples of actual emails I have sent showing how it can be done easily so that it doesn’t take a lot of time. I suggest you may want to give a copy to the person referring you to help them to do the emails properly and make it easier for them to agree to do the introduction.
What has been your experience with referrals? Do you have any tips to share?
Please post them below along with any comments!