How Professional Service Providers Can Break Through Resistance to Requesting Referrals, According To Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach
By: J. Glenn Ebersole, Jr., Chief Executive of J. G. Ebersole Associates and The Renaissance Group
One of the most powerful strategic marketing tools is referrals. Are you resisting the opportunity to request referrals? If you answered YES you are resisting, why are you resisting? In doing some research on this subject I learned that many, if not most, professional services providers resist because of fear.
Yes, I said fear. What is meant by fear as it relates to this subject? Here is what I have learned and observed. The professional services providers are afraid they will: offend and therefore harm their relationship with a client; fail and not cultivate any new business; be perceived as a salesman or a saleswoman instead of as a professional; and be placed in a totally awkward and uncomfortable position with their clients.
Strategic marketing principles and experience show that your best source of new business comes from your existing clients. So, if you ignore this fact and permit fear of asking for referrals from your clients, you will be missing a tremendous opportunity. So, what can you do to break through and overcome this resistance? Your strategic thinking business coach has six (6) suggested break through strategies for you to consider.
1. Make a commitment to developing and implementing a strategic marketing referral plan.
2. Learn how to ask for referrals. Seek advice and training from a professional, such as a business coach.
3. Rehearse your ask with clients that are not on you A list of clients. This may reduce your perceived risk of your ask. Build up your confidence and enthusiasm with these clients and then move up to your A list.
4. Focus on earning personal introductions from your clients. Select the clients that will confirm that they find value in you and your professional services.
5. Identify your ideal referrer. One who is very excited about you and your professional services and is very supportive of what you are doing. These people should help lower your resistance since they are the people who tell you they will do anything for you.
6. Make it easy for clients to refer you to others and show your appreciation for their referrals by always thanking them.
or her favorite musician; a special photo of a favorite place or person; or something that is uniquely interesting to the person.
5. Send a thank you without conditions or expectations of getting something in return.
6. Commit to always expressing thanks and doing it sincerely.
Your strategic thinking business coach encourages you to request referrals as part of your strategic marketing plan. If you would like to learn more about overcoming resistance to requesting referrals, how to use the awesome power of referrals to grow your business and how a strategic thinking business coach can facilitate and guide you in that endeavor, please contact Glenn Ebersole today through his website at www.businesscoach4u.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org