Make Giving Quality Referrals Easy for Your Client
One of the critical parts of generating a large number of quality referrals, of course, is getting quality referrals as opposed to just getting names and phone numbers. But at times, despite your efforts go get quality referrals from your client, they simply cannot or will not think of anyone to whom to refer you.
Nevertheless, you need not walk away without a number of quality referrals.
In order make sure you get the referrals you want—and to increase the number of referrals the client gives you—you must do your own homework well before you meet your client to ask for referrals. Homework simply consists of putting together a list of people you have good reason to believe your client knows and to whom you would like your client to refer you.
How do you create this list? Knowing your client is the first step. During the course of the sale you need to be aware of everything you discover about your client. Does he or she have signs of membership in organizations in their office or home? Are there bumper stickers on their car? Photographs that might indicate involvement in organizations or clubs? Has the client referred to a meeting or some other indicator of involvement? Can you gather information about past employment, other vendors or customers?
All of the above are relatively easy ways you can investigate who you client might know. Lets look in more detail at some of these possibilities:
Memberships: If you meet your client in their office or home office, you will often have the opportunity to discover their memberships by simply looking around the room. Do they have plaques from the Lions Club or Chamber of Commerce? Membership directories from an industry association on their bookshelf? Photos of them at an organization gathering?
Bumper stickers/Lapel pins: Some people advertise their political or social associations on their car. Though not a guarantee, if you notice a bumper sticker it is often a sign that they have a commitment to the organization or movement represented by the sticker. Lapel pins from an organization or association almost guarantee involvement by your client. Few wear the pins who are not active members.
Vendors/Customers: Simply investigating whom the individual deals with can give you great insight into whom the client might be able to refer you to. Does he or she or their company sell to or buy from someone you are interested in getting in front of?
Awards: Are you aware of any awards your client has received from any group, association, client, or vendor?