Referrals happen when opportunity knocks. So, when do referrals happen?

  • When a client leaves a glowing online review and says, “I would definitely recommend XYZ Business.”
  • When someone is asking for a referral be it face-to-face or on social media. I see these requests all the time. “Does anyone know of a good [fill in the blank]?”
  • When someone is complaining about a pain point in their personal or business life and the person to whom they are complaining knows of someone who can fix that problem.

How do you WIN those “When” moments?

In a nut shell, two things have to be present – Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) and having a stellar reputation.

Top of Mind Awareness or TOMA happens when someone thinks of your business when these “when” moments happen. Your business name is the first name that pops into their head. For example, a Realtor has a client who wants to sell their home for top dollar and needs a staging company to optimize the appearance of the home. There are many staging companies that this realtor may have met through networking, but it will the staging company who has kept top of mind with the Realtor who gets referred.

I think back to when I had my marketing consultancy. Many graphic designers would want me to refer to them. Some had poor quality work, some were too pricey for my clients, some had great work and reasonable prices. I would refer to those whom I would stake my reputation on, but very few of them kept in contact with me. Then a new top-quality graphic designer comes along and woos me. I am pleased with her work, customer service and prices.  The other graphic designers have not kept in touch with me and slowly, but surely, I forget about them one-by-one.

Once you earn someone’s referrals, never take them for granted. Don’t think you will always earn that person’s referral. You can lose favor with them. Perhaps you had a referral relationship with someone and the referrals stopped. Don’t assume the referrals stopped because they just don’t have anyone to refer to you. If you take these referral relationships for granted and ease up on staying in touch (top of mind), showing interest in them, and/or adding value to the relationship, then someone else can come along and woo them away from you.

Another reason you could lose favor with a referral partner is your reputation starts to suffer. For example, someone whom they referred to you, complained to them. Always, actively check your customer’s satisfaction after every transaction, so if something did go wrong, hopefully they tell you first and you have a chance to make it right. Absence of feedback does not equate satisfaction and when only 4% of people who are unsatisfied actually tell you, you need to seek feedback proactively. This will help with your online reputation as well.

At SHE Leads Group, we offer business development training to assist with optimizing your referral marketing efforts. Being in a leads group that simply gets people together is not enough. Without the training to maximize your referral marketing efforts, you could just be showing up to the same old, same old meeting, week after week. If you want to experience the SHE difference, visit a chapter near you, where your business category is not already occupied by a member. We welcome guests!

About the author

Beth Boen, Founder of SHE Leads Group

Beth Boen has more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service. She is an award-winning marketer. She is also a professional trainer and customer experience consultant. Beth loves helping people build long-term, loyal relationships that produce quality connections in their business that lead to lifetime customers and endless referrals. Beth helps people do this through her thoughtful blogs and training curriculum. Members of SHE Leads Group have access to more in-depth business development training through presentations at meetings from Beth, her curriculum, and guest trainers. In addition to being the Founder of SHE Leads Group, Beth has had a training and consulting business, The Voice Customer Experience, that she started in 2005.

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