Mastering the Referral Process

Staying motivated

One way that I have found to stay motivated is to have a way of organizing the referrals that I give and get. By keeping the referrals in a binder, I can quickly look back and see the amount of business that has come my way. This is a great way to stay motivated. I also find that organizing the referrals that I give allows me to follow-up on those referrals and hopefully keep business flowing. There are times when I’ll make a 2nd call to encourage the interaction. Referrals are the engine that drives our organization. If we don’t think about them correctly, we won’t feel the need to do that activity. When we don’t do the activity, the process fails and we eventually miss out on business. When we give referrals and correctly track the business that’s been generated, we all benefit.

Why is tracking referrals important?

Sometimes it seems a hassle to keep track of the forms, so we often don’t do it. We need to understand that it really matters if we turn in the referral forms, or use the efficient on line system. The referrals are the record of the business that is generated. The most important reason it matters is that it increases our chapter referral totals. This makes our group more attractive to potential members. The more attractive the chapter is, the more likely we will increase our numbers and therefore give each of us more potential customers.

To whom do we refer?

The first place to look for referrals is across the table and to your left or right. Your fellow members offer a wide assortment of products and services, many of which you already use. Sometimes a new member may already have a trusted provider for certain services. We don’t expect new members to abandon relationship they had before they joined. But in many cases, you can look to your fellow members for products and services you use regularly. This is an easy way to give referrals and in most cases could satisfy the requirement for 2 referrals per month.

While using the services of your fellow members is the easiest way to give referrals, it’s only the 1st level. What we really seek to do is connect to the network of people that each of us knows. For us to make those connections, the most important thing is to be intentional and proactive about it. When we are in the conversations we all have every day, we will inevitably hear people talking about something that they want to do or are not happy with. At that time we should clearly say that we have someone that might be able to help. In addition, I suggest that we proactively reach out to people that we think might be helped by a member of our group. For instance, I was able to refer one of my clients who I thought might benefit from a fellow member. I did not wait for that client to ask me if I knew of anyone who could help solve the issue at hand. This takes referring to the next level.

Potential contacts are all around us. They are family members, members of other groups of which we are a part, such as Chamber of Commerce or Rotary. They are fellow church members and friends, business associates. And often they are people who are calling you to try to solicit business. Those are sometimes the best ones because they know how hard it is to cold call. One great way to increase your referral totals and the effectiveness of the group is to encourage people with whom you already do business to become part of our group. No, this isn’t just a way to pad your referral numbers. When we bring someone into the group it not only strengthens your relationship with them, but they then become connected to the other members of the group. This not only continues to give you referrals but also increases others referral totals. And again, as our referral totals go up for the group, it makes the group more attractive to potential members.

Cross chapter referrals

Another place to find easy referral opportunities is the membership of other chapters in PRE. For instance, most of us use toner for our printers. Did you know there is a PRE member who sells toner cartridges at a very good price and will even deliver to your office? I’ve been using Cartridge World for that service and have been very happy with the product. We don’t all have to refer to everyone for it to work We may get discouraged if we are not able to get a referral for every one of our fellow members. In a way that’s good, because we should want to get referrals for our fellow members. However, there may be some areas that you are not able to refer to for some reason but others that are an easy fit. When we have enough members in the group, everyone will be able to connect with someone.

It’s not that hard

Many of us have trouble even telling people about our own products and services, so it’s not surprising that we may resist telling others about our fellow members. It often comes down to the degree to which you know and trust the other person. That’s why the one-on-ones are so important. When you get to see the value that others bring, it’s easy to want other people to have access to that value. Our job is not really to sell the other person but to tell the people who already trust us about something that can help to solve their problem. It’s as simple as that.

Happy Referring and remember those who give the most get the most!