Referral Marketing is by far the cheapest form of getting, converting and retaining business I’ve ever encountered. Yet many people do not appreciate or cultivate it in their culture.
The system I’ve used for many years came from an unusual source. It was a time when I had moved from Price Waterhouse in the UPK to start a new life in Australia and needed to establish myself – I found out quickly that I was not suited to the Corporate environment in Australia.
The system was so easy, I wondered if it would ever work. It did and still does to this day. The reason, because it taps into what people like to talk about, themselves and their standing in whatever they do.
So what is this system.
The basic principle is that friends will refer friends to another person is they respect, like and trust them to treat their friend with respect. But you have to have something to say.
The method is centred around the target of what you are endeavouring to promote, whether that is yourself or your business. Here it is:
- Call your friend and tell her that you are doing research on topic ‘x’, could you catch up for 30 minutes and get their insights into the topic because you respect their opinion (and don’t BS, you should respect their opinion);
- Meet with your friend and get the information. If it is for a report (for example), promise to provide them with a copy of that report. Believe me, they will be delighted to share BUT respect them and their time!;
- Ask for a referral to 2 of their friends that could provide insight into the topic you are researching and request that they give the friend a heads up that you are contacting them.
A number of things happen as a result
- You create an even stronger bond with your friend and show your respect of their knowledge. You also get a sense of the issues facing the business and their community;
- You get referrals to 2 more people that you can meet with and get their insights into business. You have implied social proof of your skills;
- In the conversation, you WILL be asked what you do and the services you provide – DO NOT SELL!! It would be disrespectful to your friends. They will tuck away that knowledge and sometime in the future you may receive a call.
I hope this helps and good luck