The best way to extract referrals is to make it seem like the efforts to acquire that referral is coming from the referring client. You have got to team up with your referring client for the best results.
The old way of getting referrals is to simply tell your client to have anyone they know that needs your service call you. Relying on your client to execute the referring introduction will lead you nowhere. It’s nothing more than an awkward COLD lead.
These days your clients have lots of accessible friends. These friends can be contacted via social media, email and text messaging. Snail mail is still very important as well but remember all this needs to be executed by you, sounding and feeling like its coming directly from your client.
It’s always nice to let the person who referred you make the first contact and talk about how wonderful you are. So, let me repeat myself, because it’s very important. When you set up this multi-step campaign make sure all initial contact feels like it’s being executed by your client and not you. Any marketing effort whether it’s an email, social media contact, text message or sales letter must seem like it’s coming directly from the referring client.
The problem is that your technicians or inspectors are so anxious to immediately pick up the phone and call the referral that they screw things up. They’ve got to slow down, get retrained and partner up with referrals if they want good numbers. You should have an 80% close rate on all people that go through the system. If you find that your close rate on referrals is around 70%, you’re doing it wrong!!
Grace had a wonderful pest control company. She had many systems in place that helped her generate over 2 million per year. Grace had a problem though. She hated asking for referrals, she thought it was begging, so no one who worked for Grace was ever required to ask clients for referrals. Her pest control coach told her for years that she could easily increase her business by 50% if she would go after referrals. Grace finally gave in and started telling her inspectors to ask for referrals during the sales process. To Grace’s surprise this only produced marginal results. She had another conversation with her coach, and he encouraged her to let her “technicians” begin the process right after the initial service. Grace also was encouraged to put a detailed ‘client centered’ referral follow-up system in place. Grace implemented all that she learned from her coach. After one year of installing a referral program Grace was able to attribute a 48% increase in revenue from the referrals.
A referral is the easiest sell in the world if it’s handled properly. Not only is it the easiest sell, the clients are the best at paying on time, they hardly ever complain and they’re great at being there for scheduled appointments. So, attack referrals with a vengeance and keep your clients involved as an additional sales person and advocate for you. This will remove any barriers and hesitation to your service plans.