It is important to always reward good referral behavior. It goes a long way in ensuring that you continue to receive them.
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Today I want to talk about rewarding referral behavior and why it is important to reinforce the behavior of people who refer you to ensure that you get even more referrals in the future.
This idea goes back to something I have shared before, the “80-20 Rule”, which says that 20% of your database is going to be giving you 80% of your referrals. In my past experience, it was more like the “95-5 Rule.”
If you have a large database, it can be overwhelming to conceive personally staying in touch with all those people, but the good news is that you do not have to do that. With the 36-touch system that we use, a lot of those touches are automated through the mail, email social media, and more.
However, you want to be personally reaching out to those people who refer you the most business. It really works, and it is really simple if you can follow these steps:
1. Track every referral and lead. The important piece of info to find out is who sent them. I would keep this data in a spreadsheet because this critical information will lead you to figuring out who refers you the most.
2. Categorize your referral-givers. The easy way to do this is by splitting them in two categories. The “A” category is anyone who has given you a referral in the last year. The referral source cannot always control the quality of the lead and whether or not they hire you, but they can control their behavior of referring you.
If they have referred you more than once, they go into the “A+” category. Ideally, you would put all of these people into your CRM. If you do not have a CRM yet, let me know and I can help you with that.
"Make sure you are tracking every referral and lead."
The most important thing with referral behavior is reinforcement. If someone is doing a behavior that you want more of, you want to reinforce that behavior and do it consistently. When someone refers me a client, I do a couple of very specific things:
1. Acknowledge the receipt of the referral. I do this immediately and let them know how much I appreciate it.
2. Send them a handwritten, personal note thanking them for the referral and emphasize how important they are to my business.
3. A note when the referral goes under contract.
4. A note when the referral closes.
As for “A+” category clients, these are people that are clearly plugged in and tuned into what we are about. I like to reward these people specially with flowers, cookies, and other gifts. We take the time to figure out what we can do for these people that make them feel important without breaking the bank.
I do not give equal attention to everyone in my database. There is simply not enough time in the day. However, those “A+” clients will get invitations to certain events, special opportunities, and have special access to me. If they need advice on renovating their kitchen, for example, I would be happy to give it and I let them know I am willing to go above and beyond for them because they are important to me.
If you are interested in hearing more about how I use referrals to my advantage in my business, please feel free to reach out and give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.