What is a referral? A referral is when one of your satisfied clients who trusts and values what you do, and how you’ve advised them, ACTIVELY refers your service to other potential clients. Having referred you, they will give YOU the potential client’s contact details to follow up. YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF THE FOLLOW-UP.
What is a recommendation?
A recommendation is when one of your satisfied clients simply gives your name to one of their contacts endorsing your service. The contact will call you themselves if and when they need your service.
The new potential contact is in control of the follow-up.Why are they so important?
You will already know that there is no better way to get new business than through referral or strong recommendation. Clients love to refer and recommend someone they have received a good service from.
Many solicitors don’t like to ask for referrals or recommendations although welcome them with open arms when they receive them. So your challenge will be to develop a system for encouraging referrals that you feel comfortable using and that motivates your satisfied clients to help you. Remember, that when you have performed and delivered a high standard that delights a client, he will be more than happy to refer to you. It is up to YOU to make it as easy as possible to do that.
How to ask for referrals?
There are ways of encouraging them:
Timing is keyThis is usually best done when you are discussing the successful outcome of a case and the client is at his most enthusiastic.
Plan what you’re going to say
Perhaps you could try, “I’m delighted you’re happy with the work I’ve done for you. Much of our business comes from referrals or recommendations. Do you know of any business associates who are looking for the same kind of results we were able to achieve for you?”
Be clear what you’re looking for
It is much easier for your clients to think about someone when YOU are very clear about the kind of person, organization or problem that you are able to help with.
Tell clients how to refer to you
You need to stay in control. You could say, “ If you know someone, give me a call first and we can discuss the best way to approach them”.
Direct them to your website
If you have a good way of capturing the attention of new prospects and an incentive for getting their details e.g. free report, then asking your referrers to direct prospects to your website is a good idea.
Prospects are more likely to check out a website first before they call you. And if yours is good, then it will create a positive first impression. Still, the first impression is not always the crucial, but in the majority of the cases it is. But when it comes to face to face situation, you will encounter situations when the clients will talk about their activities that are not really in accordance with the law – persuade them that you are not a whistleblower and that you will not report him – instead of that, you will help him.