Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Why Some People Have Great Referral Businesses and Others Don't

Dear Friends,

If you have ever wondered why some people have great referral businesses and others don't then keep reading.

First, let's be sure we have a common understanding on one thing.

What is a Referral?

A referral is a business opportunity initiated by a third party.

It's not just a lead.
It's not just a prospect.
It's not just a customer.
It's not just a client.

It's a business opportunity that involves three parties: you, the referral and the referrer.

Seen as a business opportunity, a referral is an action that will repeat itself if you understand why people refer.

People refer because they know what you do and how you help others.

People refer because of how they feel they were treated and the likelihood those they refer will be treated the same way.

So, let's go back to our initial question. Why do some people have great referral businesses and others don't?

Buckle up. Here's one of the secrets.


How often is it left up to the customer to follow-up or call back?

As a customer yourself, do you ever have to call your service provider over and over when you're wondering what's going on?

Do you refer that person? Probably not.

As a Mortgage Lender, Realtor, Financial Planner, Lawyer, Insurance Agent, or just about any business person, has your customer ever called you to ask "if you got the papers, how the open house went, if you heard anything yet, have I been approved?"

You might respond by saying "I would have called, but there's nothing new" or "I was thinking of giving you a call."

Here's a simple rule:

Whoever calls first wins.

If you call your customer first you win.
If your customer calls you first you lose.

We know it's not a game. When people do business with us they have given us an opportunity. If they like what they experience they'll do it again and tell others.

Remember, a satisfied customer will likely tell only one other person so it's our job to learn how to leverage their advocacy.

Your reputation determines your referrals.

What is your reputation?

What do customers really want from you?

What are the behaviors that evoke in a customer a compelling desire to want to refer you to their friends or family or co-workers?

Your empathic ability to anticipate your customer's needs illustrate that you are paying attention. That's right, paying attention.

In a world that is hurried and over-scheduled, where everyone is on to the next new thing, simply paying attention is the exception. It can uniquely differentiate you from others. In our businesses we all pretty much do the same thing, have the same programs, show the same houses, offer the same marketing media, have access to the same information.

It's not just WHAT you do. It's HOW you do it.

By definition, "ATTENTION" means the act of keeping one's mind closely on something, mental readiness, care or consideration, courtesy, thoughtful consideration for others.

I don't have to go any further, you get it.

All the things customers want. All the reasons that make someone referable. Are you referable?

When I review customer surveys, and having read thousands, here's what customers say over and over:

"she was always there for us, she anticipated our concerns"

"he made us feel like we were his only client"

"they were all so attentive and respectful of our situation"

"kept us informed every step of the way"

"sincere personal attention, courteous and understanding"

"my time is important, his prompt attention to detail was great"

Paying attention is the foundation of exceptional follow-up. It is the behavior that speaks volumes to the customer.

Here's an example:

In the normal course of business when you send a fax or regular mail, call the person you sent it to and say, "I just wanted to make sure you got the information I sent you. If you have any questions let me know."

If you were to receive a fax and the sender calls you to make sure you got what was sent, and was available to answer any questions, what does that simple follow-up call say to you about their service?

Reliable, responsive, attentive? Absolutely!

Now, let's keep it in this context.

Exceptional follow-up involves the ability to anticipate your customers' need, questions, concerns, issues, uncertainties and their desire to be kept informed during a business opportunity and, to some degree, after as well.

You may be thinking this isn't a big secret. You're right, but, if it isn't a secret, than why is it so rare?

I heard it said that "progress is man's ability to complicate the simple things."

Keep it simple.
Pay attention.

So, why do some people have great referral businesses and others don't?

They do it real well and others don't.


Thanks for spending 3 minutes with me.....
The best is yet to be!

Your Trusted Advisor For Life.
Jeffrey Stanton

You read Jeffrey's Journal every week because you, like me want the best for yourself.
And you, like me want to build a strong referral based business.Who else like you, like me loves referrals that you can share this blog with right now?

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