Getting referrals from clients is not rocket science. It’s all about being referable and being proactive. Wishing and hoping is not a plan!
Sometimes, to get more referrals from our clients, we have to educate them about certain aspects of the referral process. Here are 5 critical conversations that will help you generate more and better referrals.
1. Teach your clients that their referrals won’t hurt your ability to serve them.
You might be surprised to know how many of your clients think that if they introduce you to their friends and family, you might have less time to provide them with a high level of service. Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth (as long as you only take on the right clients for your business.) The truth is, you run faster and jump higher for clients who provide you with introductions. Do your clients know that?
2. Remind your clients about confidentiality.
Even though you may have told your clients before, it never hurts to remind them that the work you do is completely confidential and, should they introduce friends, family, or colleagues to you, you will never reveal confidential information to anyone! It’s a vital part of our referral policy that we always respect yours and their privacy.
3. Teach your clients how you handle their introductions.
It is important that you remove the perceived risk many clients feel about making introductions. Build your script around the phrase ‘Handle with Care’. Let them know that if they should ever identify someone they think should know about the important work you do, that you always take a soft approach – never being pushy. ‘I can’t afford to hurt my relationship with you by hurting your relationship with them.’ It’s a crucial part of our referral policy we treat each person you introduce to us with utmost care and we’re happy to have a chat with no expectation and no obligation.
4. Teach your clients who you serve the best.
If you have a well-defined vision of who you’d like to attract into your business – make sure your clients know. Rather than being you-centered by telling them who you want to meet, be client-centered and tell them who you serve the best – who your processes are geared toward. In this way, you’ll increase the chances of getting the right types of clients for your business. The back of our referral envelope show a few examples profiles of people we serve best.
5. Never assume a client knows how to introduce you.
Some clients know exactly what to say to their friends, family, and colleagues to spark their interest in hearing from you. Others, sadly, often say the completely wrong thing and blow any chance of you meeting their friend. It’s always a good idea to discuss what your referral source is likely to say. When you recognize their introduction might not be the best, give them an alternative.