First things first. Write down what an average new customer or client is worth to you. Go on write it down. Now imagine if you received 1, 3 or 5 new clients in referrals from that new customer. how much would that be worth to you? Write it down.
Now, if you're ready. lets begin...
Most people wrestle with the concept of generating, more specifically - ASKING for referrals, for 10 common reasons -
" I don't have a network"
So start somewhere. Pull out your mobile phone, and check the contact list. Pull up Outlook express and check your address book. Join Twitter. Come on, that's one helluva of a lame excuse. Have you checked your profile hits on Linkedin lately? If you're looking to make new friends, Then HELLLOOOOO, you're on Linkedin !!! Click on their profiles, and let the system pull them to your profile. Let the games commence!
" I don't have anything to offer "
Then do something about it - Productise your knowledge, wisdom or experience, build something, get a job - do something !
" I don't want to use people "
Asking for referrals is done after you've given or demonstrated value, not before. Only ask for referrals after you delivered value or great service, and that way you won't be "using" people, as you'll be approaching the same people you've helped.
" I don't want to impose on people "
See the one above.
" I don't want to damage my reputation "
Your reputation is already damaged if you don't deliver on your promises, if you don't do a good job, and you won't get any referrals if that is the case, so its a moot point - isn't it? Who have you gone the extra mile for lately, and ask them if they know anyone else who wants a similar job needing doing.
" I'm afraid of rejection"
Why would someone that you've done a good job for, reject you? If you helped them, saved them time, money, resources, helped them become thinner, live longer or made them healthier, wealthier, more efficient or productive, or given them peace of mind doing what you do, why the hell would they reject you? Don't be a banana, think about it!
" If they want to they will in their own time"
Yeah, and you starve, get thrown out the house or get divorced or bankrupt in the meantime. Don't be silly. You're lacking self confidence. You're lacking self respect. What's the weather like on your planet? Are you good at what you do, at what you offer? Do people actually need or want what you offer - I bet they do. Think of all these nice jobs you did for clients. The same clients that took an extra 3 weeks to pay you, or got you to do 4 days more work than you expected, or hammered another 20% off your price, just because you allowed them too - tommorow never comes ! and you think they're going to give you a referral "one day" it'll probably be too late. Think again Batman. Manyana. Manyana !
" I don't want to be seen as needy, desperate or skint"
You probably are. Look at the clients you have now, look how they screwed you down on price, and got you to work twice as long just for you to have arguments with your partner or loved one about money. You love what you do? Right now you probably hate everything, and are thinking about changing jobs, careers even countries? Come on, Think positively, think of all the people you've helped who can tell others just how good you are. You are exceptional at what you do, you've just let others taken advantage of you. It's time to take control and direction of your life and business. You won't appear needy, desperate or skint if you're delivering value to your clients, and they say thank you by giving you referrals. Think about it.
"I don't need to."
I think this is funny. This month everything is absolutely going great guns, but you've got no pipeline for next month or the month after that. Your order book is full until February, the bank loves you and has just given you another £40,000 over draft and you've cleared all 3 of your credit cards back down to a zero balance, Yeah right? What happens if you don't get that deal that you submitted the prosposal for yesterday? It's not in the bag yet, is it? Never say never. Maybe your competition has come in with a better offer, deal or price this morning, and you're just waiting for the fateful phone call...
"I don't know who I can give referrals to"
Wey hey. Now you thinking. Now you're cooking with gas. I love it. Your edging closer already. Stop being selfish, and thinking me. me. me. Start thinking who. who. who you can help. Your pulse is racing, the adrenaline is pumping, the mental arithmetic has started working out if you give 5, no 8, no 15 referrals how many will you get back. See, you'll be glad you started reading this blog now
Whip out your mobile phone, email address book or diary and start compiling a list of people who you can give referrals to, and just watch what begins to happen over the next couple of days.
You know you want to.
A faint heart never won fair lady !
and "a dog with no legs no run very fast".
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