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Friday, December 10, 2010

THE SLOGANATOR: Referrals Rock

Rhonda L.Sher
Referrals – That is what every sales person or entrepreneur wants from their clients, prospects, friends and the people that they meet. It is one of the main reasons why people network. The problem is that referrals are hard to get and even harder to ask for.

There are several traps that are easy to fall into when it comes to referrals. These include: asking for referrals incorrectly which can lead to getting a referral for someone who really is not interested in your product or service or not getting a referral at all. It can also be that the person you are asking for a referral does not have enough information about you or your product to make the referral but is reluctant to tell you this. Keep in mind that when someone gives a referral to you, it is a reflection of that person.

Have you ever used the service of someone that a client raved about only to have a totally different experience that was negative? Your opinion of that client may change as a result of that referral and you may not go back to use the services of that client again. There is a risk in giving a bad referral. Being careful about who you recommend because it is reflects back on you. Another referral trap that is easy to fall into is being too general and asking your referral source if is there anyone they know who can use…… opposed to being specific and asking - Do you know someone that has xyz problem and is in need of …..? Being specific will greatly enhance your chances of getting a quality referral. Make sure the person you are asking is a raving fan of yours or you will mostly likely be put in an uncomfortable situation. Timing and knowing your audience is critical when asking for referrals.

When do you ask for a referral? That is always the question that clients ask me. Getting referrals can be done at any time but it takes using common sense and good judgment. For example, if someone has said that they don’t need your product or service at this time but will use it in the future and you know that they are genuine about that statement, you might ask if they know someone who could use your product or service and tell them that you build your business on referrals. Another good time to ask for a referral is after a clients tells you what a great job you did. You already know this client is a raving fan. You might even consider offering a referral program for your existing clients and providing an incentive for them to give referrals to you. One of my clients, a maid service, offers a $50.00 credit toward a future cleaning when a referral becomes a new regular customer.

Why not incentivize your raving fans to share the good word about your product or service? Referrals rock when you have them coming in on a regular basis.

So what is the key to true success in getting quality referrals? It is building it into your sales process. That is something that is easy to forget but not hard to incorporate. What does it take? Asking for referrals on a consistent basis. Have a form that you use for every sales call that you make and create it in a way that it provides details so that you can call on a referral in an informed way. One thing that many people forget is to ask for permission to call the referral instead of waiting for the referral to call you. You can also ask the person who gave you the referral to let the person who might be interested in your product or service know that you will be contacting them so they are not taken by surprise. Ask questions so that when you do contact the referral, you have enough detailed information to sound intelligent and informed. Don’t forget to ask the source the best way to contact the referral source, whether it is on the phone, in an email, a text message or some other way. Get full names and complete information.

Finally, think outside the box when it comes to referrals. Find referral partners, those people who are targeting the same client or customer that you are, but who are not competing with you. Networking groups are one of the best places to find referral partners. An example of a good referral partner is the decorator who stages homes for people who want to sell their home and a realtor who focuses on listings for sale. Both are looking for people who want to sell their homes. These are called power partners. Another example is the person who sells supplemental insurance benefits and calls on human resource professionals and the person who sells prepaid legal plans. They both want to meet the same person but for different reasons and can easily suggest the other’s service if it seems appropriate. Trade shows offer a myriad of opportunities to find referral partners.

So what is the secret to get “referrals that rock”? Make sure you know how to ask for them, have a system to ask for them regularly, know who to ask, and that you ask for permission to contact the referral and use the name of the person who gave you the referral. Bob Burg’s book “Endless Referrals” is still one of the best resources I know to learn the secret to getting referrals. Remember, the more referrals you get, the less time and money you have to spend on cold calling. Referrals are the warmest way I know to heat up your business. Get rockin’ and watch your referrals roll in.

Rhonda L Sher: The Sloganator Rhonda L Sher was born talking. She fell in love with words as a child and has never stopped communicating since. Her father once commented that she was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. Not only has Rhonda inherited her father's humor, but it's that quick wit that has become the signature that has helped propel her clients to stardom.Acclaimed Keynote and workshop leader, Rhonda has authored two books, "The 2 Minute Networker" and "The ABC's of LinkedIn," "Get LinkedIn or Get Left Out" as well as numerous action guides, articles, workbooks, jingles and corporate slogans.

In addition to writing, Rhonda uses her gift of gab as a featured keynote speaker, consultant and corporate trainer throughout North America. She has successfully taught hundreds of business men and women on the art of business networking and written hundreds of elevator pitches and slogans.Rhonda's greatest talent lies in her ability to create fabulously catchy slogans that are memorable, upbeat, easy to repeat and create instant brand identification. In addition to the books, audio and video, Rhonda creates slogans and taglines for her clients which are memorable, bring them business and make them, money. She works with you to create a corporate slogan for your business that sets you apart from your competition. Her creativity and energy will tap into your customer's mind and have your phone ringing off the hook with new business.

Rhonda's Products can be previewed at:

The Two Minute NetworkerMingle To Make Money

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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