Benchmark Business Group

Are referrals on your agenda?

July 15, 2013

Referral gathering is as easy as asking for them. Here is a strategy that will help your business to "ask for" and then "gather" referrals.


Do you currently use an agenda when meeting with your clients or potential clients? If not, start by considering using the one that will be suggested. If you are, consider using the one that will be suggested.  When meeting with a client have an agenda, a copy for you and one for the people you are meeting with. The agenda will have a title with the names of those you are meeting with and the date of the meeting. It will then have sections for the different product offerings that are available. This will encourage you to ask about each area that you may be able to help the people you are meeting with. The final item will be Discuss Agency Marketing or Discuss Business Marketing. There will be room for notes to be taken on the sheet and you will find that people will follow along with the agenda and use it for taking notes --- you may want to provide them a pen with your name/logo when you present the agenda. When you present the agenda you will briefly go over the document and let them know you will be discussing each item on the agenda and will be closing by discussing your business' marketing efforts.


When you get to the final topic, the marketing item, you will find that many people will ask what it is you need to discuss regarding marketing. At this point, let them know how much you appreciate their time and that many of your clients have been referred to you by people like themselves.   Tell them that it is your expectation that your way of doing business will continue to earn the right to be recommended by them and that they are most welcome to tell their family and friends about their experience. Let them know that they can use the space provided to jot down the names of the people they have thought of that would like to be exposed to the same level of service and be clear that they do not have to reveal to you the names.


Ask them if they will be seeing or talking to the people that came to mind in the next week or two. If they say yes, ask them if it would be alright if you were to check back with them in two weeks to see what their family/friend said about allowing you to contact them. If they were to answer no, then ask them when they do anticipate they will be seeing/talking to the people they have in mind. Armed with that answer, ask them if it would be alright if you followed-up with them on or about that date.


Those that have used this technique have actually found that people often call them back, before the agent scheduled follow up, to let them know what their family/friend said.


It is extremely important that the follow-up call is scheduled and executed. This builds the experience for the recommending person as often times they have not made the contact by the time they thought they would. Following up on time shows that you are serious about doing what you said you would do and serious about helping their family/friend. If they have not talked to the person it is a good practice to then ask them if they would prefer you make the call to the people they have in mind. If they say that they would prefer to contact them then schedule another follow-up call to be made. This pattern continues until they have made contact, given you the names, or asked you to stop.


By following this strategy with each and every meeting you have with clients or potential clients you will begin to ask for, and gather, referrals.


Click here to see a sample agenda. 


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