Read that title again, please. If you want referrals…you still have to work. I know it sure is fun when people call you up and beg to do business with you, but, I suspect that isn’t occurring enough for you to go out and buy the beach house with cash.
Taking #Referrals from a nice surprise to sustained profitability takes planning and work.
Today we are going to talk about one of the simplest ways to measurably increase your referrals: Using your phone. To be specific, using your phone in small spaces on your calendar.
I don’t know about you and your schedule, but, after two decades of coaching I know about myself and my clients. None of us are using our time as effectively and efficiently as possible. Some of this is because we just can’t manage to maintain a hard core prospecting mindset (get more appointments) all day long. We need breaks or we will experience a big drop off in effectiveness. Prospects can tell when you are low energy and burnt out…sometimes before you can.
Let’s talk about an easy and fun way to take advantage of the natural breaks that occur in your day. This, btw, does not replace the necessity and reality of having enough scheduled/blocked prospecting time in your daily/weekly/monthly calendar. No way around the fact that you got to be focused. Here is the fun: call while on a 10 minute walk to get some air, call while driving 10 minutes to get to lunch and/or doing some errands….the possibilities are endless.
Here is how it works: You aren’t calling to try to set appointments with prospects…you are calling your very best clients and centers of influence to make contact with them using the magical expression:
“How Can I Help You?”
With your best referral sources you don’t have to be locked in a mental cage match mentality…instead you should look forward to the call and enjoy the conversation. These people like you and want to help you. On the call you are going to reinforce the same to them (How can I help you)…and build up their mental awareness of your importance in their life.
I promise you, this really works…and its fun.
Why does it work? Because you are building a narrative, authentically and consistently, that you are a #giver and not a #taker. People aren’t required to refer you and if you really want to get more referrals you are going to have to make them not only #rememberyou, but, you are going to have to #makeiteasy.
Here is some practical application:
- Make a list of your top 10 clients and centers of influence. Bonus points for creating a sub-category on your ‘contacts’ so that you can easily dial them.
- Evaluate your calendar each Sunday before the week starts and look for #emptytime in it. These gaps between appointments shouldn’t be filled with admin work and/or Facebook scrolling to see what you are going to order for dinner. I bet you can find at least 10 of these 5-20 minute spaces to utilize.
- During each of these breaks pick up your phone and call at least one person on the list, in order, and ask the magic question. Write down (if possible) their response and add it to your CRM.
- Do your very best to see if you can actually make a measurable difference within what they need help with. Hint: You don’t have to have the answers, but, if you can connect them with the answer you will get just as much relationship credit.
- Listen to them. I find in many of these calls that my referrals sources will tell me about new clients/relationships that I will often be interested in meeting myself. Stay focused and make sure you keep working on helping them. As soon as you can, make a note of the possible introduction so that you can follow up for an introduction later. However, if it comes up naturally, be prepared to let them know that you would like to talk about meeting that person/company when they are ready to discuss it.
- Do this as often as possible. If you find that you are cycling through the list more than once per week there are two possibilities (one good and one really bad): (1) You aren’t prospecting enough and have too much time on your hands, or, (2) You are ready to add a few more to the list.
The first few weeks you do this it will sometimes feel awkward and your referral sources may not have much to share. That is good and quite normal. You and your clients will get used to these calls. They don’t need to be very long at all and it is perfectly ok if they are less than 3 minutes. The key is the frequency of your best clients and key centers of influence learning, over time, that you truly care for them and that you are actively trying to help.
You need to be known as one of the best #givers in your community if you want to truly harness the power of referrals….and you can’t do it by accident. If this was easy, everyone that said referrals were the best way to build your business…wouldn’t be spending time cold calling or buying lost of ads…in fact, you would never hear from them because they would be too busy to tell everyone about how good referrals really are (true story).
You can do this on your own, but, if you want help there aren’t that many choices.
Sadly, there aren’t enough folks out there experienced and willing to be accountable teaching and coaching these methods. Our company is completely dedicated to this type of work. We know referrals are incredible and we are willing to be held accountable for teaching the #resultsbased version of how to get more of them. Make sure, if you choose to get some help, that they are willing to be held accountable for results.
Need some help? The first step is having a conversation about how you have grown your business and how you wish to grow in the future. Here is a link to get a 15 minute call with me: 15 Minutes with Mike
All the best,
Are you ready to grow consistently and profitably? There is a path to growing your business that is simple, fun to execute upon and highly profitable for both individuals and teams.
We help financial advisor firms and small businesses grow through leadership and marketing consulting that designs powerful systems and we provide the coaching and training to make those systems work better and faster. Don’t hesitate to reach out, ask to speak with a client that is already on the path, or, to just get a few questions answered. We love helping clients love their job and love their life.
How to reach me:
firstname.lastname@example.org, or, 540.314.5665 (cell)