When to Ask for Referrals
You should always ask for referrals when you deliver a quality product or service. There are times when you'll get better results than others. Here are some guidelines for when to ask for referrals:
* After signing a contract.
* Periodically, with a letter; say once a quarter
* When successfully completing a project and your client signs the final approval.
* When a prospect turns you down. Guilt is beautiful!
* When you're doing a client satisfaction survey.
* When you're calling an inactive client.
* When you're calling an active client.
If you're unclear on how to ask for a referral, try this:
"It's a real pleasure working with you and I look forward to our next meeting. In the meantime, if you know somebody that needs qualified financial planning services, I hope that you will pass on what a good experience you had with me, and ask them to give me a call."
Keep Them Informed
Keep the referral source informed during the early part of the new relationship. Call and tell the source "Thank you" for the referral. Inform them that you've met, and started a discussion, then ask them if they want to stay informed on their referral.
You should always send a letter thanking the referror. It's polite and prudent. If it makes sense, you can send them a credit for your services, a dinner for two or tickets to a ball game. Show your appreciation.
Motivate Your Referral Sources
Motivating your referral source depends on the kind of relationship you have with them. If it's an existing client, it may be as simple as just providing stellar service and actively requesting the referral. For colleagues, and professional relationships, setting up a formal commission that is attractive to them may be more effective.
And don't forget to give referrals yourself. If you can comfortably recommend another practitioner or firm, you'll build reciprocal credits, and it doesn't take effort on your part. The key is to refer only businesses that can really deliver, and then make sure you follow-up with your referral to see how the relationship is going.
Bryan Brandenburg, CEO and Managing Partner of the Vertical Marketing Management Group, is the author of book "Million Dollar Computer Consultant", which the above article is from. For more, click Million-Dollar-Computer-Consultant.