This past Sunday my business partner Paul Guyon and I were interviewed for The Business Marketing Insider podcast with co-hosts Tom Trush and Andy Renk based in Phoenix. The topic was something that Paul and are experts at: referral marketing.

One key area we discussed was having a simple system for getting more referrals to make them a consistent and daily activity within any business or organization. It’s not so much that we know how effective referrals are, the real challenge is setting up a system to get more of them on a consistent basis.

An area we shared during the interview was what we’ve coined as the A.S.K. Formula to Getting More Referrals. What I’m about to reveal and share in this week’s message may seem almost too easy, but the real challenge is actually having an open mind to try it out for yourself, following the simple steps, and then making it a habit within your business as it works like a charm. Let’s break it down…

A is for ASK

S is for SPECIFIC

K is KNOW when to ask for the referral

Here’s a helpful breakdown of how you can put this to work for you.

#1: When you ASK for referrals it should be done in such a way that triggers your happy customer to immediately think of 1, 2, or 3 people in their contact sphere that could benefit from knowing more about you. Sounds like common sense, but so few people even do this critical first step.

So what’s the biggest problem to getting the ASK formula working you might be thinking? Not only remembering to do this daily, but having a simple way of doing it that increases the odds of your best customer sending you an ideal referral. This takes us into the next part of the system.

#2: When you are SPECIFIC with whom you’d like to be introduced or referred to, the higher the chances increase that your customer will be able to think of someone they know in their immediate circle who is a great fit for your product, service or organization.

The mind thinks in pictures. Thus the goal is to paint a picture in their mind of someone just like them or a peer that they know who might be a good match for you to connect with. Again, the more specific you are with the request, the better the outcome. Example: you work with a local bank successfully. The chances are high that your customer contact knows other local or regional banks –not direct competitors- that if prompted and asked properly, they could possibly refer you to.

#3: The final step in the process is to KNOW when to ask for a referral. Let me give you two big clues as to when referrals could be literally sitting directly in front of you. First, when a customer is raving about the job you’ve done for them, quality of your product, service they’ve received, etc. When you are receiving positive comments then this is the best time to ask for referrals. They are in a peak state and often times very receptive to introduce you to other people they know.

The second scenario is when you come through in a pinch and really help a customer in a bind. At this point they know you can deliver on what you say are very likely, if you’ve followed the first two steps in the formula, to send you a referral or two.

Again, this is a small sample from the interview we did last Sunday. To hear the rest of the podcast interview visit: http://www.bmipodcast.com/bmi-038-mastering-referrals-and-keeping-customers-coming-back/

 


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