May 12, 2016
Generating Referral Sales Starts with Doing Great Business
Can you guess the #1 source of business for real estate agents? Check out these stats for a hint:
65% of new business comes from referrals – New York Times
92% of respondents trusted referrals from people they knew – Nielsen
People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend – Nielsen
As you probably already knew, referrals are king not only for real estate agents, but small businesses and other professional service businesses. Even though it’s no surprise to us that referrals are the lifeblood of our lead generation engine, many of us just aren’t asking our clients, for fear of a potentially awkward conversation.
Fortunately, you can avoid an awkward conversation, and have your clients rushing to refer you, by being a rockstar agent. We’re going to share a few quick tips to help you drive referral leads by delivering excellent work.
The first step in being a great rockstar agent is great communication. A good rule of thumb when dealing with clients, especially your more difficult clients, is to over-communicate rather than under-communicate. This means clear communication that lets your client know exactly what they need to know, and timely communication that gets your client the information they need when they need it. In our experience, lack of communication is the very first sign that a client relationship isn’t going to be fruitful.
Having a consistent schedule of communication with all of your clients is often the best way to ensure you are keeping up with necessary communication. That said, without a system to track when you need to communicate with a user or client, you are doomed to forget. That’s where a CRM like karmaCRM comes in: This vital tool allows you to set, manage, and be reminded of follow-ups via text message or email.
Often times, disrupting how a client goes about their business can be the thing that sets you apart in their mind, when they get an opportunity to refer you. As a real estate agent or a service professional, this doesn’t mean insulting or tearing down your clients’ homes, ideas, or businesses! Instead, you’ll present them with new information that may challenge the way they are thinking, and help them accomplish their goals
By putting the most relevant and educational information in front of our users, we challenge them to take the insights they have gained and apply them to help them achieve their goals.
At karmaCRM we recently challenged a user who steadfastly believed none of his clients would be willing to refer him to their network. We showed him a Texas Tech report stating that 83% of satisfied customers would be willing to refer a product or service to their network. He decided to give this idea — asking clients for referrals — a shot and was able to gather eight leads, and eventually three additional clients, in about an hour’s worth of time spent.
That user has since become a karmaCRM power user, and has referred us countless times. Disrupting his mindset and challenging him to be a better business owner made karmaCRM stand out as the most memorable CRM in his experience. From there, we simply asked him to keep us in mind when asked about his CRM of choice.
Plant the Seed
All too often, I see professionals who are incredibly hesitant to ask for referrals. In order to make asking significantly easier, you can plant a seed regarding referrals long before the engagement actually ends, so that your client can already be thinking about referrals they might be able to make. You can do this by simply showing how open you are to more business, and how eager you are to work.
When you working with your client, ensure you’re showing a real passion for what you’re doing, and communicate that what you do isn’t just for a paycheck. Also, make sure to communicate that you are in fact available for new clients. This means, take the word “busy” out of your vocabulary, at least while you’re with clients!
Make the ask!
We are continually asked by people in our network, and karmaCRM users, how they can improve their business, and who they should be talking to in order to get the advice they need. Luckily, karmaCRM is a great platform for business coaches, giving us countless business coaches that we can refer.
When we refer someone in our network to a karmaCRM customer, we make sure we send either an introduction email or a friendly note letting the business consultant or coach know that we have referred them. Not only do we love doing this for our users, but they are VERY likely to make sure to return the favor and refer karmaCRM.
Gaining referral sales comes down to building relationships, by going above and beyond your user’s, client’s, or customer’s expectations. Whether you are challenging your client with valuable information, or referring them to someone in your network, always remember to go above and beyond.
Next week, we’ll be diving into how to make the ask, and dissecting the different ways you can request referrals from your users and clients. In the meantime, we’re interested to hear from you guys! How do you position your clients so you can ask them for referrals? Let us know in the comments below!