Many of you who know me will know that I am a big believer in business referrals.
What Are Business Referrals?
Existing clients and business associates will often refer people who need mortgages to my mortgage broking business.
They do this because they know that I am an experienced mortgage broker that will help the people that they refer. They also know that people will thank them and do business with them after referring people to me both because those people will be thankful of the help and also as I will endorse them in return.
The great thing about receiving business referrals is the people already have an element of trust before they meet you and therefore the business is more likely to be done and typically in s shorter time.
The other great thing for any business owner is that there is very little cost to getting business referrals.
A Business Plan For Getting Business Referrals
There are typically two good sources of business referrals;
- Existing and happy clients
- Other business people
Of course existing clients are a great source of business referrals and some clients will refer you to their friends, family and associates. To ensure that you get a constant stream of referral there needs to be some work and it benefits to have a separate marketing plan focused on generating referrals in this manner.
Getting other business people to refer people to your business will typically take a long time; however there are organised business networking groups that will help you establish the trust of other business people and this should see a steady flow of business referrals start quite quickly.
Get A Grip On Referral Marketing
In this video Eric explains how Tom Hopkins says in sales situations you must be prepared and he promotes ‘scripts’ as a way to ensure that the sales process is successful. But most of us do not like to memorise scripts as they can often sound fake so instead of having fixed sales scripts many people will have a format that they follow instead.
The video also explains that business networking groups like Business Network International (BNI) are a lot more successful when they have more than 40 members; however most BNI groups have somewhere between 20-30 members and therefore to be more successful they need to focus on growing the membership.
Just like you ‘sell’your own business products and services, to grow your BNI group you need to ‘sell’the concept to other people. The easiest way is to invite people along to a weekly meeting so they can see how the group works and meet some of the members. Your job therefore is not to sell the BNI group membership, but rather to invite people along so they can see how it works.
On the video you will see that there is a very simple acronym to help with this process – it’s called the GRIP method.
G – stands for “grow” – you ask business people if they are looking to grow their business.
R – stands for “referrals” – then ask if business referrals would help grow their business.
I – stands for “introductions“- then explain that you would like to introduce them to business associates that over time would like to pass on business referrals to them.
P – stands for “place“- explain that this is the place that we meet each week. In my case our Westgate BNI group meets at 7.00am each Thursday.
It’s a very simple way to invite people…
Networking Groups Work
The key to getting more business referrals is having a group of business people that will actively refer the right leads to you.
In my experience I have found that BNI is the best networking group to belong to as it’s a structured system that has proven to be successful throughout the world. It works because it’s a planned approach (scripted) to getting a group of business people to help each other. It also helps that the group meets each week and you get a chance to educate the group on the exact types of referrals that you are looking for.
If you’re not already a member of a BNI group then you owe it to yourself to visit a meeting and see how this works.