They are often the best way to get new customers. Do you follow up appropriately?
What happens when you get a referral from a present client? Sometimes we are so busy that we really don't optimize the referrals we get. Here are some ideas.
1. Call your client back and thank them. You might be able to find out how the referral came about. Was it a particular service you provided that made the client give out your name? Ask, it can lead to some interesting discoveries.
2. Call the person or company referred to you. Evaluate his interest level and get basic company information from the referral. Don't forget to get the email address either, and ask if the person would like to receive an occasional invite to upcoming seminars. In your discussion, you might find out personal details about the referral - such as information about hobbies, celebrations coming up, etc. Write these down.
3. As a result of the phone call, make a judgement call - should this company be added to your mailing and email list?
4. Use your email list to further your cause. Send an email monthly to prospects and clients. The message can be simple. Keep you clients informed of industry events or seminars you might be having. Send them links to articles you've read that they might find interesting. Give them a reason to get back to you - let them know you are available if they have any questions.
5. Send thank you cards - to both the referral and the person who referred him/her to you. If you have noted any personal information in your conversations, you might refer to it in the card. For example, if the person is a golfer, ask how his/her golf game is coming along?
6. You can even send a small gift. If you've discovered that this person likes to cook, consider sending a new cookbook that you saw on TV, or heard of at a party. It's a personal touch that will be remembered.
7. Do you send out holiday cards? If so, add these new referrals to your list.
Referrals are precious. Treat them as such and you'll be rewarded.