Are you referable? How do you know? One barometer of your referability is that you're getting referrals without asking for them. Are you? Do you have such a good initial process with new prospects and clients that they are thinking of people to refer you to before you even do much work for them? And as you work with your clients, do some of them continue to pass your name along and connect you with people? This is one measure of referability. And this counts, by the way. Getting referrals without asking for them is a testimony to your good work.
This article will give you a few ideas on how to become even more referable - to be purposeful in enhancing your referability - so that you get more referrals without asking for them, and so when you do ask, you'll have people receptive to your request.
A referability checklist
Alan Weiss, in his book Million Dollar Referrals, provides this list of qualities that contribute to one's referability. Measure this against your current client relationships.
- Trust. Do you live up to your promises and claims?
- Value. Do you demonstrably improve the client's condition?
- Responsiveness. Are you accessible, and do you respond rapidly?
- Credibility. Does the client feel it's impressive to be partnering with you?
- Reciprocity. Do you recommend people to the client where appropriate?
- Professionalism. Are you on time and on deadline?
- Innovation Are you leading edge, state of the art?
- Reputation. Are you seen by others as being the best of the best?
- Call to action. Do you provide your clients with a tool that keeps them talking about you?
This is a long list and there is one part of it that we can help you with, the call to action. You feel that your business fully embraces this entire list, so why aren't you getting more referrals from your clients? It's because your clients don't have something that actually sparks those conversations about you. Referrals don't just pop up in mid air, they need something that creates the conversation.
This is where we come in, imagine you've helped your clients buy or sell their home and you turn to them and you say "Thank you very much, we would like to give you this gift to say thank you." and you give them a painting of their home! After all the hugs and tears of joy, your clients then hang that painting on their wall for decades to come. And every time their friends and family visit, what do they see? That painting. And what will they say? "Wow, isn't that a painting of your home! Where did you get it from?" And that is where the referral happens!
The gift that creates referrals!
This article was taken from the amazing book "Beyond Referrals" By Bill Cates.