Referrals through ‘word of mouth’ is the one way that top business men and woman get leads, but most fail at getting it right.
It doesn’t matter how brilliant your service or product is, most people will never recommend it unless they are prompted to. This isn’t an insult to you, your service nor product – people are just too busy solving their own problems.
There aren’t too many people out there who recommend their dentist, insurance broker, nor solicitor unless they are prompted to. Just think back to how many times you have referred your dentist? Once, Twice, or Never
…It’s not until someone asks you ‘Do you know a good…’. At the point you flick through the ‘Filing Cabinet’ in your brain for someone you recommend. And even at that point you may still have apprehensions.
What happens if they use John, the estate agent, and he doesn’t sell his house? Are they going to blame me?
If I send my gardener round to their place will that mean I may not get him next time?
Will Pete the electrician get angry with me if I refer Paul, who in turn doesn’t pay him on time for the job?
Or would it motivate you if you know that;
‘Baggy did a really good job at lead generation for me and his company gave me 3 months subscription of his social media platform for introducing Mark to him worth £45’.
The ‘Reciprocity’ Principle
In ‘The Psychology of Persuasion’ Dr Robert B Cialdini writes about Reciprocity. When someone gives you something of value, such as the friend who helps you move or does your shopping, you feel compelled to give something back or indebtedness to that in individual – this is the Reciprocity Principle. This is the act of giving away something free which has a perceived value to the prospect – such as:
- Your time and Expertise – such as Free Consultation
- An estimate – If it’s a big investment then free quotations
- A gift – we offer a service at my.socialmediaexecutive.co.uk as a free blogging service
- Content – Ebooks such as this one for a milk allergy testing ==>Click Here
- An extreme example is where one of our social media executives asked a referral for their Paypal details and sent them £10!
The normal human response is to give something back – so offer the service and ask for a referral.
‘Many years ago I had stint in the insurance and after a client meeting I would try and walk out of that room with the names of five people they knew that could do with insurance’.
Systemise the Referral Process
You got the name, address, and telephone number – now what?
Well you use the reciprocity principle to engage this new lead. Call them.
‘Hi My name is Baggy, and specialise in Lead Generation, Capture and automation. I’ve been working with or met Paul and he said that you could really benefit from my service’.
‘What are your biggest issues when lead generating from the internet…..’
And you’re off on your pitch. In either case you would offer a free service or they become a client – but at some point you are going to be offering something free to get referrals. If they don’t become a client, you start a referral campaign with them – where you are encouraging them to refer consistently and constantly. Below shows a systemised process which encapsulates a very simple referral process.
- Capture the details of the Referrer
- Ensure that they know what they are getting and when, after referring a client, this by way of an email or a web page
- Where they sign up their referral’s
- A system where you remain at the forefront of the mind of the referrer – through well thought out email sequences and SMS messages.
- And of course to thank them every time they refer and you gain new customers
Below is an example of a simple system.
To ensure that we are in the ‘Front of Mind’ of our services we use a Referral Campaign.
The signup is done by the company in this case ‘Me’ for Social Media Executive and an email with information on how to sign up their referrals with their login details to see their referrals and earnings.
A unique link is generated for the Referrer for a high value low cost product. In our case it’s our social media platform – my.socialmediaexecutive.co.uk (please see and review!)
The link in this case is http://socialmediaexecutive.co.uk/social-media-platform/liam1010 Systemised SMS