Tips for Getting Referrals:
Increasing your referral business isn't always an easy process. We realize that obtaining referral business requires effective planning and implementation.
85% of businesses state that word-of-mouth referrals are the number one way new clients find out about them. Many studies have found that referrals have a higher closing rate; they close quicker and have increased value over their lifetime. Having a referral system will keep your business growing. Building a referral process is relatively simple, but there are three things to keep in mind when looking to increase your business through referrals.
- Just Do It!
You need to deal with your anxiety and conquer your fear of asking for referrals. Let's face it, the longer you think about doing it, the more referral business you're missing out on.
There are ways to get referrals that don't mean that you have to ask for one directly. For example, you could assist small business owners in getting into the referral process by referring business to them. Remember the saying, "Reap what you sow." By referring your contacts to other businesses, the chances are that these businesses and people will return the favor and refer you.
Growing your referral business isn't always an easy process. You should realize that getting referral business requires proper planning and execution.
Referral sales require almost no financial investment, but they bring in very valuable leads.
- When and How to Ask for Referrals
The perfect time to ask for a referral is when you feel your relationship with your client is strong enough to validate their trust and confidence in you. It's not the minute that your transaction has just closed!
We realize that this answer isn't perfect. Only you can determine the strength of your relationship with your client. This is why it makes it challenging to provide a standard answer. Use your best judgment when deciding when it is a good time to ask for a referral.
Two things to think about before asking for a referral:
Has your client received value from your services that they have acknowledged?
What type of personality is your client?
If your client hasn't received value from the services you have provided, then the timing isn't right. Real estate agents don't ask for referrals before closing on a new home. Asking for a referral after a contract has just been signed also isn't a good time. Clients usually need some time to process a significant transaction, a life change, before doing any favors. You also need to make sure your client is aware of the value they received.
You must also consider your client's personality. If they are Type-A and assertive, then directly asking them shouldn't be an issue. However, if your client is not as outgoing and somewhat introverted, asking them directly might make them uncomfortable. Your approach with them needs to be subtle and discrete since they require additional time to trust you.
When you're positive that your client has received value from your services and your client also realizes this, that's when you ask for a referral.
- Ask for the Referral!
Okay, you've determined the best time to ask for a referral, and you have your plan figured out. Now you have another challenge: which type of referral are you going to ask them for? You see, there are two main types of referrals you can ask your clients for, and now you need to decide which type you want from them.
1) The Standard Referral
This is when you ask if they have any friends or family members that could benefit from working with you.
This is when you ask your client for a testimonial of your services to use on your website. Even after being referred, most people will still take the time to check you out on your website. 70% of people trust testimonials they read online. Having testimonials on your website dramatically helps referral leads to develop into sales. And this is one of the most significant improvements you can make in your referral process.
Acknowledge Your Referrers!
Past clients that refer you are your best salespeople! Treat them well! When a past client refers you, send them a handwritten thank you card or, better yet, buy them a small, personalized gift! Acknowledge all referrals from clients, whether they conclude in a sale or not. All referrals are much appreciated, and show your clients how important they are to you!
Get Referral Business Now
Referrals are the foundation of a real estate agent's business, and the secrets to obtaining referral business are:
- Satisfied customers are more than happy to assist you- so don't worry about asking them for a referral.
- The perfect time to ask for a referral is once your client has received value from your services and they have communicated that to you.