Many of us rely heavily on referrals to find new leads for our pipelines. Therefore, nurturing referral relationships is one of the most important things we should be doing on a daily basis.
But are you taking for granted that these people will keep sending business your way? You may think you’re satisfied with the number of referrals you’re getting now, but what if you’re leaving more on the table than you realize? Or what if there was a way to get better quality leads? Wouldn’t you want to know how?
It can be easy to fall into a rut of expecting referrals from the same few people and continuing with business as usual. But if you’re not investing in maintaining and growing your relationship with those power referral partners, you’re missing out.
If you want to keep the referrals coming and improve both the quality and quantity of clients being sent your way, you need to prove yourself worthy. There are a few essential elements to doing that.
1. Talk About Your Referrals
When someone asks you how business is going, don’t just say, “Great, thanks,” or “Fine.” Tell them it’s been great because more than 80% of your business is coming from trusted referrals. Go into detail and tell them about a new client who was referred to you by such-and-such partner. Explain how you worked with them to achieve success.
When you tell people about how others are referring clients to you, you’re building up that transfer for trust. The referrer trusts you enough to refer their client to you. And now you’re showcasing that trust to a third party, increasing their trust in you by proxy.
2. Follow Through
I’m sure we all thank someone when they refer a new lead or client to us, but it can’t stop there. If you truly want to prove yourself worthy of regular referrals, you’ve got to keep everyone in the loop. Create a process where the person referring someone to you is not just the spark that begins the journey, but a fellow traveler for the entirety of the trip.
Send a thank-you note immediately upon receiving the referral. But then also connect with them to keep them current on the status, especially when you close the business, or even if you don’t close it. Giving them the details of why this person chose not to work with you will help everyone make more successful referrals in the future.
Thank them continually throughout the year. Whenever you see them, say something like, “Thank you again for referring so-and-so to work with me. It’s been such a great experience!” Tell the person who was referred to you regularly how grateful you are that this partner referred them to you in the first place.
It’s all about creating a circle of gratitude and letting people know that you value their impact on your business. Operating like this lets people know loud and clear that you understand your success does not come only from your own merit, but from working with equally talented and driven people.
3. Create Social Proof
When you put a process like this in place, you’re showing people who you really are. You can tell someone all day long why they should refer clients to you, but why tell when you can show?
Prove to people that you’re the kind of person they want to work with. Make it clear that you are the one and only person they should be referring people to for this type of business. Creating that feedback loop and leaning into gratitude will cement you as their go-to person, which could open up countless opportunities for you going forward.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!