February 9, 2009
A referral and follow up system… You may be asking yourself what do I need that for? I was reminded about a pretty well know fact after reading yesterdays post on Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch titled My Most Excellently Flawed Referral Survey. The survey questions had to do with the percentage of your business coming from referrals or word of mouth. Here is what John found:
69.3% felt over 50% of their business came by way of referral and yet, 79% further admitted they had no well-defined system to promote referral generation. The conclusion is we know how important referrals are yet we don’t take the time to create a system to attract them!
John also asked if you are not getting a consistent flow of referrals why not? 20% of the participants of the survey just skipped this question! Maybe after realizing so much business comes from referrals and acknowledging they have no system that thinking about why was just too much must for those in the survey to handle?
For years I have heard and seen similar numbers like this. Business owners and top sales professionals say things like the live for referrals yet if I ask the simple question of what do you do when you receive a referral I more often than not get a blank stare.
Receiving more referrals is pretty simple and there are many ways to do this.
- Simply asking your customers for referrals or people they know who can also use your product or service is a great place to start.
- Making sure you acknowledge and reward the referral senders will naturally grow the amount of referrals you receive. People will enjoy helping you and when you acknowledge and appreciate them and will in turn help you more.
- Staying top of mind with your customers, prospects, and referral sources will generate more business and referrals for you. You can do this by calling, emailing, sending greeting cards, and newsletters. Staying top of mind is customers and prospects is about creating a relationship.
The best referral and follow up system I have seen and used for years is SendOutCards. When used correctly you can create an explosion of referrals with very little effort. The reason for this is SendOutCards is a great system and once set up can go on autopilot. You can learn more about SendOutCards and how it might work for you by visiting this site. Fill out the contact information and I will call and talk to you about it personally.
Whether you use index cards, Excel, Outlook, SendOutCards, Act!, Goldmine, Saleceforce.com, or any of the many other CRM tools on the market the important thing is you use one. Commit to a system, spend the time to get it set up to work for your business, and then use it no matter what! The benefits of using your referral and follow up system will outweigh any time or pain you might feel getting it started!
So tell me, what system do you have? What are you doing to increase your referrals and follow up with your clients and prospects?