One of the best sources for new business is by way of client referrals. Not exactly a life-altering statement, is it? How about when you take into account the fact that 88% of buyers say they would use their agent again or recommend them to others, and yet only 25% actually do. Now you recognize how important your referral pipeline is or could be to the future health of your business.
If your referral business has dried up, it’s time to refuel it and diagnose the real reason why it stopped flowing in the first place.
How Would You Personally Rate Your Performance?
It might be time to take an introspective look at your level of service. If your referrals have slowed in recent months, take a step back here at look at what kind of service you’re providing. Think of it this way, every transaction has three to five opportunities for you to go above and beyond. Ask yourself, “What more can I do?” Don’t settle for average – do more than expected, and leave a lasting impression that will turn your average clients into raving fans.
In order to manage all your transactions professionally and deliver exceptional services – you need to have the tools in place to assist you. The fact that your referrals have grinded to a halt is a pretty good indicator that the overall machine hasn’t been flowing properly. It might be time to revisit your database and what your inner circle looks like. This stoppage in referrals might also be because you haven’t been paying forward any referrals yourself. Generosity goes a long way in business. Why? People remember the last time you were generous. Keep track of the professionals who you can recommend to your database and they’ll return the favor.
If you provide your customers with an unparalleled experience, you will be at the top of their mind when they want to suggest an agent to their network.
Have You Considered Asking for a Referral?
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Part of the reason that your referral pipeline has dried up stems from the fact that you might not be actually asking for a referral in the first place, and you can’t rely on the assumption that a client will. While 88% of buyers say they would recommend their agent to others, only 63% of buyers actually did so in the last year. Why is there a dip? That number would likely be a lot higher if agents were able to stay in front of clients in the months and years after the sale. It can be as simple as saying, “I could use your help in referring me to other people, do you know of anyone that may be in need of my services?”
You could also take advantage of the sweet spots that the small wins along the way present to ask for a referral. These checkpoint celebrations show that you’re committed to them and working your way closer to the end goal, which creates the momentum in which you could ask for a referral.
If you don’t ask – you will never know.
Capitalize on the “Closing” Window
“Post-sale follow-up is good business. It tells your customers that you are interested in their well-being, and it makes it easier to ask for referrals later on.”
After you have completed the transaction, the window is open to ask for a referral – but it’s also a crucial window to actually capitalize on. Let them know how much you appreciated their business and how it was a pleasure working with them. This is also a golden opportunity to learn from their feedback and build your foundation on customer satisfaction. Ask them how they would rate your service for constructive and actionable feedback to use. It provides a perfect springboard to ask if they would feel comfortable recommending you.
Are You Actually Keeping in Touch?
You could be providing the best customer service humanly possible throughout the process, but if you immediately drop off the radar after the close, it leaves a bad taste – and that’s how you will be remembered. Building the foundation of a healthy relationship means establishing the lines of communication – although it’s a common problem for many businesses that only really reach out when they need something.
With this being a steady problem for many agents that already have their focus commandeered, IXACT Contact have designed a month after purchase nurturing plan which is specifically designed to address this very issue of keeping in touch after the transaction has closed. It provides a very targeted supplement to the monthly e-Newsletter, which is a key tactic in your keep-in-touch arsenal.
Knowing that someone else took the liberty to recommend you speaks volumes. It brings instant credibility and trust to your business, brand and you! Instead of tearing it all down and starting from scratch all over again, the answers to your lack of referrals could be lying within your database – you just have to rethink how you approach it.