How to Give Good Referrals - The definition of a referral

What is the Definition of a Referral?  An open door to discuss your business.

What is a referral?  It’s not as simple as it’s sometimes made out to be.  We leave college and go into business knowing little about referrals, because referral marketing is rarely part of the curriculum.  We know what a great thing it is to get a referral, because it generally means lucrative business with a reliable client.

We understand that referrals are the best kind of business.  What we don’t fully understand is how to make them happen.

Ivan Misner  defines  a referral “as the opportunity to do business with someone who is in the market to buy your product or service. It’s not a guaranteed sale, but an open door to discuss your business.”

The whole process of giving referrals can be somewhat subjective.  Our goal is to make a “subjective” process as “objective” as possible.  Here are six points to generally follow when giving a referral***:

1.Listen for a need from someone you’ve met. A good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionately.

2. Tell the individual that you know someone who can provide that service.

3. If you’ve done business with the member, share your experience.

4. Give out the business card of the person you are referring and ask for the individual’s card.

5. Ask if it’s okay to have the member call.

6. If the answer is yes, fill out a referral slip and give it to the chapter member at the next meeting.

So, a referral is a referral right?  Once a referral source has given you the name of a person to call, it’s up to you to do the rest.  A referral is better than a cold call, because you have the name of the prospect. And if you’re fortunate, you can use the name of the referral source to open the door.  What more could you hope for?

Grade A Referrals

Actually, there’s quite a bit more you can expect from referrals that have been properly developed by their sources.

Referrals come in many different grades.   On one end of the spectrum they may go from simply a name and number of someone who’s expecting your call all the way to an in-person introduction that follows a serious commitment of time and energy from your referral partner.

Both may be legitimate referrals.  However, the latter is much more likely to lead to closed business.  The further along the referral spectrum that you can follow in your referral giving – the more likely you are giving truly high quality referrals to your networking partners.

The definition of a referral:

A referral is an opportunity for a fellow member to present their business to someone who is in the market to buy their product or service, where that presentation will be looked forward to with anticipation.

In giving a good referral there are six points to follow:

1. Listen out for a need from someone you’ve met. A good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionately.

2. Tell the individual that you know someone who can provide that service.

3. If you’ve done business with the member, share your experience.

4. Give out the business card or number of the person you are referring and ask for the individual’s card or number

5. Ask if it’s okay to have the member call.

6. If the answer is yes, give the member a call and fill out a referral slip and give it to the network member at the next meeting.

Here are some examples of a good referral:

Hot Referral - Michael needs a desk and chairs for his new office. I gave him your business card/details and he is expecting your call.

Warm Referral - Breda is new to the area and needs a good chiropractor. I gave her your card or details and she wants you to call her next week.

Tepid Referral - Michelle is shopping for car insurance and is interested in a quote from you. I gave her your business card or details and you should call her soon.

KNOW

Many of our 25+ members have been members in this group for over 3 years! They meet at least once every week and know how to spot an opportunity for each other

LIKE

When you get to know someone, you want to help them out. Referrals are key drivers of word of mouth marketing that we learn to identify for each other

TRUST

When we help each other out, we get business in return, and only refer quality clients and only to quality suppliers who will deliver quality results.