The Referral Blueprint

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1 The Referral Blueprint Your path to success has never been so clear. Our Referral Blueprint has been designed to help you get more referrals by building a business Powered by Referrals. Our goal is to help you achieve the financial success and freedom you desire and deserve. The Proven Power of Referrals If you ve been in business for long, you understand that referrals are the quickest and easiest way to increase sales and grow your business. There is enormous data that proves that the more referrals you receive, the more successful you will be. Just look at a few of the studies and statistics about referrals: New York Times: Referrals represent 65% of the new business that professionals get Nielsen Research: People are 400% more likely to buy when referred Wharton School of Business: Referred clients have a 16% higher lifetime client value Texas Tech University: 83% of satisfied clients are willing to refer There s no disputing referrals are the key to business success and that is largely driven by the fact that people have greater trust for you when you ve been recommended to them. When prospective clients trust you faster, they are less likely to consider working with other professionals or shop for better pricing. Loyal Clients Refer Loyal Clients In 2011, the firm Advisor Impact conducted thorough research in the financial services industry and released their study entitled, The Economics of Loyalty. Not surprisingly, their research shows that highly engaged clients are far more likely to provide referrals to their financial advisors. In fact, 91% of engaged clients said they have an overall willingness to refer their circle of contacts to their financial advisor. What was more surprising is that 100% of the clients who described themselves as engaged had actually referred their advisor. Proof positive that engagement is critical in creating loyal clients who refer loyal clients. 91% of Engaged Clients Said They Are Comfortable Referring 100% of Engaged Clients ACTUALLY HAD Referred Their Advisor

2 The 10 Referral Best Practices Plan for the future by setting short and long-term goals. Connect regularly with the people who can provide referrals. Serve well and people will be more inclined to refer business to you. Ask for referrals. Track where your referrals and clients come from. Thank everyone who has sent you a referral. Follow-up with those providing referrals and to give a status update. Reward and show your appreciation for the referrals you receive. Celebrate and recognize the people who provide you referrals. The Top 10 Referral Strategies While there are numerous ways to attract more referrals, the following ten strategies provide the blueprint to help you build a business that is powered by referrals: 1. Conduct Client Engagement Campaigns 2. Nurture Your Top Referral Sources 3. Conduct Referability Surveys 4. Offer Referral Rewards 5. Build Referral Partnerships 6. Host Referral Mixers 7. Execute Co-Marketing Campaigns 8. Optimize Your Reputation 9. Hold Client Appreciation Events 10. Become A Charity Champion 1. Conduct Client Engagement Campaigns Current and former clients can be your best source of referrals. Therefore your first goal in building your referral business is to optimize the recommendations and introductions from your client base. To accomplish this, it is critical that you stay top of mind so clients always think of and recommend you every time their friends, family and acquaintances mention needing the services you provide. The key is to communicate and provide value consistently. Simple and regular communication that includes items of value related to your practice area and client needs will help create a steady stream of referrals. Newsletters, videos, blogs, webinars and workshops help to educate and empower your clients on the services you provide while also keeping you top of mind in your

3 industry. Just be sure to offer solutions to their biggest challenges to maximize their engagement and referrals. 2. Nurture Your Top Referral Sources In addition to consistently communicating to your clients, you should also be nurturing your top referral sources on a regular basis. Start by cataloguing your contacts and identifying your top 25 sources of referrals. This should include the people who refer you most often and are most likely to refer to you in the future. For optimal results, identify people who already know, like and trust you, believe in the products or services you provide and consistently interact with people who match your ideal client profile. Once you ve identified your top referral sources, you should be connecting with these people every other week through phone calls and personalized s, note cards and social posts. You should also invite them to join you for coffee, lunch, cocktails, golf outings, wine tastings, sporting events or other activities you are both interested in. The more time you spend with your top referral sources, the more appreciated they will feel and the more referrals they will send your way. 3. Conduct Referability Surveys Another great way to generate referrals from your clients and professional colleagues is to conduct a referability survey. Asking questions about people s willingness to refer can give you valuable insights into how others view you and your business. Referability surveys also help raise awareness about your business and shows your commitment to excellence. More importantly, a well-designed survey that asks for referrals respectfully and effectively can generate new referrals from both your client base and professional network and inexpensively. For those who are reluctant to ask for referrals in person, surveys can be a powerful way to generate numerous referrals quickly and comfortably. 4. Offer Referral Rewards Another effective way to attract more referrals from your clients and social sphere is through the use of a Referral Rewards campaign. Referral contests or refer-a-friend programs provide a great opportunity to systematically request referrals from your client base by incentivizing and rewarding them for recommending you. Offering payments or prizes can help build buzz around your business and motivate your client base and social sphere to recommend you to their friends, family, colleagues, clients and co-workers. Depending on your industry or type business, you may want to consider awarding gift cards for movies, restaurants or local shops or you may choose to provide gift certificates for your products or services. Those with higher profit margins may want to offer cash rewards or hold a contest with a cruise or vacation getaway as the grand prize. For optimal results, be sure to publicly praise everyone who sends business to you during the course of your campaign through your newsletters, website and social media. This not only makes your referrers feel appreciated, it also provides social proof that others trust you enough to refer their friends and family which typically increases follow on referrals.

4 5. Build Referral Partnerships One of the most powerful and underutilized strategies to grow your referral business is partnering with complementary professionals. By working with businesses and professionals who are already serving your ideal clients, both parties leverage their databases and expand their promotional reach. For example, if your ideal clients are business owners, you should invest time building referral partnerships with other professionals who are serving businesses each and every day. By partnering with business coaches, CPAs, attorneys, financial advisors, bankers, printers, marketing consultants, technology specialists and HR firms, each party gains new opportunities to grow their business while also gaining valuable resources to better serve their clients. Start by contacting professionals you ve known for years expressing your interest in promoting their services to your clients. In your meeting, you can discuss how you serve the same ideal clients and then outline the benefits of working together. Just remember that the key to building profitable referral partnerships is to give first. So while the best way to earn their referrals is to give them referrals first, you can also offer gift certificates for your services, introductions to your professional contacts, or co-marketing opportunities. By strategically offering to help them grow their business or solve one of their business challenges, you are immediately delivering value which can lead to profitable referrals for years to come. 6. Host Referral Mixers If you are looking to build new referral partnerships, a great way to expand your professional network is to host a referral mixer. Hosting a referral mixer or networking event is a fun and effective way to meet high quality professionals and prospects, while building deeper relationships with your existing referral partners. When you create and lead the mixers, you become the central connector and recognized leader of the network thus positioning yourself prominently. Mixers provide the opportunity for professionals to meet in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Your focus should be on helping everyone who attends to meet their ideal referral partners to help them grow their business. As you help other people expand their professional connections, you add value to everyone attends while growing own network by leaps and bounds. 7. Execute Co-Marketing Campaigns Once you have built referral partnerships, you should consider deploying co-marketing campaigns. While this strategy has been used successfully by large corporations, few small business owners and independent professionals have tapped into the power of this strategy. In a co-marketing campaign, you bundle your services with other professionals thereby offering your clients a more complete solution to their challenges or needs. The power of this strategy is the leverage that each partner receives. In a two person partnership, each professional increases their marketing reach by the size of the other person s database. In larger partnerships that include multiple participants, each member benefits from the collective outreach of the group. For example, if five professionals who each have a database of 1,000 people join forces for a co-marketing campaign, each person s business gets promoted to 5,000 prospective clients. Considering the fact

5 that the marketing expense for each participant is the same yet the promotional outreach increases significantly, this strategy can generate significant business for each party involved. There are 17 different ways you can co-market with your partners, including: Social Posts 3. Endorsements 4. Introductions 5. Newsletters 6. Ratings & Reviews 7. Bonuses 8. Bundles 9. Discounts 10. Gift Certificates 11. Contests 12. Direct Mail 13. Online Ads 14. Print Ads 15. Brochures 16. Sponsorships 17. Referral Sites As you can see, co-marketing offers you and your partners significant leverage since your message will reach many more clients and prospects at a greatly reduced marketing cost. 8. Optimize Your Reputation Credibility is a key factor in your success. The faster you build trust with your clients, prospects and referral partners, the faster your business will grow. To help quicken your success, you should optimize your reputation both online and off. The fastest way to build trust is through social proof because what other people say about you is always viewed as far more credible than what you say about yourself. That s why it s so important to boost how other people view you and your business. Today, many clients will research you online before ever contacting you about your services. Therefore, to strengthen your reputation and credibility you should consider integrating and promoting some of the following to your website and professional profiles: Articles you ve written or been featured in Associations you belong to Awards you have received Books you ve written or been featured in Endorsements from colleagues, celebrities or industry leaders Media kits featuring your professionals photos and speaking appearances Radio interviews Testimonials from clients Training videos you ve produced TV appearances and interviews Implementing these items throughout your website, social sites and promotional materials will dramatically boost people s perception of you. These will also help build your status as an expert, which can lead to corporate contracts and high net worth clients. These can also lead to speaking

6 engagements for professional organizations and associations as well interviews and guest appearances in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. 9. Hold Client Appreciation Events Another effective way of growing your business and attracting referrals is by holding exclusive parties and events for your best clients and referral sources. Parties are a fun and festive way to celebrate with your clients while showing how much you appreciate them. Events can help you deepen relationships and loyalty while creating lasting memories for you and your clients. Not to mention being a great way to get your best clients to introduce you to their friends and family who may need your services in the future. Just be sure you clarify your ideal client profile so your clients invite the right people to attend. Consider hosting: Awards Parties (Oscars, Emmys, etc.) Brewery Tours Casino Nights Charitable Events Concerts Dinner Parties Golf Scrambles & Tournaments Holiday Celebrations (Valentine s Day, 4th of July, Christmas) Private Art Showings Private Movie Screenings Sporting Events (Attend Live or View At Your Home, Office or Sports Bar) Wine Tours & Tastings When hosting an event, be sure to thank all attendees and express your appreciation for their loyalty. You should also introduce them to other guests, especially those who they may share common interests with. 10. Become A Charity Champion One of the best ways to win the hearts and minds of your clients is to promote your favorite charity or cause as part of your business and promotional efforts. You may have noticed that all the biggest brands now promote the charities they support. Many even promise to make donations when you purchase their products so you feel like you are making a difference when you choose to do business with them. This practice is known as cause related marketing and has been proven to help businesses: Attract more clients Build buzz Create customer loyalty Decrease marketing costs

7 Enhance employee morale In fact, studies show that 93% of consumers want to know what companies are doing to make the world a better place. Yet while big brands use the power of this strategy regularly, cause related marketing is seldom used by individual professionals or small businesses. That gives you an incredible opportunity to make a difference in a meaningful way while winning the respect and loyalty of your clients, colleagues and social sphere. To become a charity champion, simply choose a charity or cause that is aligned with your passions and profession. You can then either make a donation on behalf of each new purchase or promise to donate a percentage of your profits to your charity of choice. To optimize the promotional power of this strategy, you may even want to create a contest to engage and involve your clients in raising funds for your chosen cause. The beauty is that integrating cause-related marketing into your business not only increases your income, it also expands your impact in your community while giving you deep satisfaction and fulfillment. Your Path To Success We hope you ve found this Referral Blueprint informative and insightful. At Refer.com, we are committed to your success and would love to help you put these strategies into action. While most professionals would like more referrals, most struggle to change their daily habits and benefit greatly from a personal support team to keep them on track. To solve that challenge, Refer.com has developed a special service called our Referral Partner Program. Clients enrolled in this program receive a customized referral action plan along with a Referral Manager who will work with you on a weekly basis to implement these strategies and help you deepen relationships with the people who matter most. The Referral Partner Program includes: Customized Referral Action Plan Done For You Marketing Campaigns Personal Referral Support Client Referability Survey Marketing Support & Accountability Customized Messages & Items of Value For Your Top Contacts Contact Management Uploaded For You Weekly & Monthly Progress Reports

8 If you are serious about boosting your sales, we would love to help you maximize your profitability by building a business powered by referrals. For a free consultation, simply click here or visit Here is what a few of our clients are saying: The program makes getting referrals much easier. You guys are doing 95% of the work! Greg L. Financial Advisor, Referral Partner Program Client Refer.com s tools have taught me the art of asking for referrals. Business Coach Referral Partner Program Client The process provides the structure I need to connect with my important relationships. Stephen H. Referral Partner Program Client THIS WORKS. Joe L.Business Coach, Referral Partner Program Client I love your product! Randal D. Executive Consultant I use ulinknetwork to manage my referrals, but I use Refer.com to generate them. Doug M. Financial Advisor, Referral Partner Program Client I highly recommend Refer.com to any business professional who relies on building trusted relationships to be successful in their business. Terry F. Referral Partner Program Client Refer.com s tools have taught me the art of asking for referrals. John M. Referral Partner Program Client If you re wanting to build your business and you re thinking about using advertising or mass marketing tactics, think again. Refer.com can teach you to get as much business as you can handle. James P. Business Coach, Referral Partner Program Client I love what Refer.com is doing! I ve always thought of my work relationships from strictly a business perspective. Refer.com has taught me how to develop relationships on a more personal level and in turn, my business is now growing faster than ever! Chris N. Executive Consultant, Referral Partner Program Client

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