You may be asking yourself “What do you mean”? You’re thinking all referrals are good referrals, right? No they’re not. It is always good to get referrals for your business, but there is definitely a difference in the quality of a referral. I’ll admit that receiving any kind of referral is better than no referral at all. However, if given the choice, would you rather have a low quality referral or a high quality referral? Exactly…I thought so!
Houston is a big city filled with a lot of choices. In fact, if you narrow it down to just the pocket communities surrounding Houston you’ll find an overload of options. As a result, professional business networking is critical for a business owner. Networking is also vital to anyone in a sales position or someone in a business operations capacity. He who has the most referrals will typically be the industry leader in your market.
How do you receive a quality referral? Well, here is where the Golden Rule comes in to play, “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you”. What I mean is, when you have a referral to give, give it in a quality manner. The best way to do this is to email a virtual introduction to both parties: the one you are referring AND the one you are referring to. This way you are able to give your stamp of approval, allow for communication between both sides of the referral and provide some background for the reason of the referral (wants and needs for one, and service and reliability of the other).
The second method for quality referrals is done through your networking with others. Ask others what kind of referral is good for them. Chances are you will have the opportunity to tell them what kind of referral is good for you. This is always good because it outlines the type of target audience that is best suited for a particular individual. When doing this and expressing your sincere desire to help the other, your networking efforts become mutually benefiting.
The other way is to specify how you’d like to receive the referral. If someone says “I have a referral for you”, then take the opportunity to ask them to email you a virtual introduction (mentioned above) and if they would mind calling the referral as a means of support to the email. Ask for the referral’s contact phone number so you can follow up. When this is done, the result of the referral becoming a customer is extremely high.
Providing quality referrals is good for everyone involved! It is good for the person providing the referral because they can insure that both parties are aware of the other so things go smoothly. It is good for the person needing the referral because they know they are going to be taken care of and everything is transparent in the referral process. And, it is good for the person receiving the referral because they are more likely to have a new customer. Like most things, there is a good way to do something and a bad way to do something. Practice good methods of providing referrals and provide insight to others so they can send you referrals that produce high conversion rates. Remember, referrals…especially good referrals come from people you know and the best way to increase your referral base is through professional business networking.