1. Avoid the “Anyone” Trap. When asking for a referral, don’t say “Is there anyone else…”. This is a closed ended question to which the person is likely to say No -they do not know of “anyone” else.
2. Don’t go the “Want Services” Route. Asking for who “may want good service” may result in the other person trying to think of somebody who has been asking for your style of handling business. And of course they may not know of anyone.
3. Don’t Nickel and Dime. Asking for the names of too many people is like asking someone for their rolodex or address book. Don’t try to squeeze every last referral in one request.
4. Don’t Send Form Letters. The same way you don’t like receiving them, do not send form letters. Instead, tailor or customize what you have to say in person or over the telephone.
5. Don’t Alienate Referral Sources By Only Being a “Getter.” Would you like it if the only time someone contacted you were when they wanted something? Don’t do this to your referral sources. Instead, provide valuable information and maintain a relationship by being more of a giver than “getter.”
1. Ask Specifically for “Who.” When asking for a referral, always ask for a specific “who”. This will get you a highly qualified lead and most often positive results. For Example: Who do you know who is currently looking to …? Or, Can you tell me who in your family is looking to…?
2. Ask Regularly. If you only occasionally ask for referrals, you will get limited referrals. Asking regularly will get you many more valuable referrals.
3. Follow-Up Referrals Immediately. Worse than not getting a referral is letting a referral slip away. Remember suspects and prospects are like bananas. If you let them sit too long, they shrivel up and go away.
4. Develop a System with a Script. Use a systematic approach and have a standard script. Have a process for asking, receiving and following-up.
5. Ask Early. If you wait to ask for referrals, you run the risk of forgetting or worse –putting someone in a awkward position. Asking early in a conversation will set the expectations of what you expect by the end of the conversation.
6. Acknowledge. Send a follow-up / hand written note to your referral source and if you are so inclined, include a $100 gift card to a nice restaurant.
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