This is a series of posts about getting more clients and building a solid referral base for your private practice. Thanks for the opportunity to share this information with you; I look forward to helping you bring it to life in your business! ~ Deb Legge
The “Referral Strategy” is the third REQUIRED strategy in the Book Yourself Solid® marketing system for service professionals. If you want to get Booked Solid, you must educate your referrers and make the most of those relationships; you must have an organized referral program that can help you connect with potential clients.
An organized referral strategy has four phases:
- Pre-Referral Work
- Seize the Day Referral Work
- Post-Referral Work
- Ongoing Referral Work
If you remember from previous posts, people will only do business with you to the extent you have developed trust with them. Your referrers are your “customers” — they have access to and influence over your ideal clients. If they really believe in you, they can help jettison you marketing efforts.
Pre-Referral Work is all about analyzing past referrals (where, who, why, when); determining who might be good potential referrals and how you will keep track of them; and having a good understanding of what your referrers need and why they might choose you.
Seize the Day Referral Work is about asking for referrals when the time is right. Get a good feel for when the timing might be right to ask for the business. Make it easy and convenient for people to do business with you.
Post-Referral Work involves following up with the referrals you are getting. This sounds like a no-brainer, but you can’t believe how many referral opportunities go cold because you’re busy, or you are unsure. Follow up with those referrals promptly and professionally. Your response is often considered a reflection on the referrer and if you drop the ball you might disappoint the client and piss off the referrer. Not good.
Ongoing Referral Work is about follow-through. It’s about you doing your best work; and it’s about you following up with a thanks to the referrer (when possible and appropriate).
Think of your referral relationships as partnerships that you must nurture. The best way to get referrals is to give referrals. Don’t be afraid to identify colleagues you can share referrals with whenever possible. You may find people who serve your target market in complementary ways — teachers, clergy, physicians, etc. Just make sure to do your best work and be generous with reciprocal referrals. These can be relationships that last a career and friendships that last a lifetime!
Deb Legge is licensed to teach the Book Yourself Solid® system, created by Michael Port, based on his mega best selling book, Book Yourself Solid® For more information, email me at: DrLegge@gmail.com