This is a re-blog by real estate coach and trainer, Richard Robbins. If you want an ongoing stream of referrals, it’s so important to show appreciation to the people that refer your services. As Richard writes in the below article, simply sending a thank you note is not enough. Become a strong advocate of relationship marketing, master the contact management approach (using your real estate CRM system), and build your business based on referrals and repeat marketing. To do this, you need to know how to truly recognize your referrers and transform happy clients into loyal advocates.
Most successful sales professionals rely on referrals for a large portion of their new business. This is particularly true in real estate.
Part of building that great referral base is to show gratitude for the trust your referrers are demonstrating when they send you their friends, family and colleagues. Most sales professionals, though, don’t bring the energy and creativity that they should to this part of their business.
The Standard Referral Thank You
Let’s start with what doesn’t work that well: the same old thing.
The standard is to call the referrer and say thank you. Or to send them an email saying thank you. Or to send them a note saying thank you.
That’s what everyone’s doing. It’s boring. It doesn’t take much effort, and, for me, that means it doesn’t show much appreciation either.
It also doesn’t include the prime ingredient for expressing thanks: unexpectedness.
The Unexpected Referral Thank You
Here is one of our teachings that many of our coaching members have incorporated into their business with amazing results. It’s simple three-step process that can delight, and lead to even more referrals.
Step 1: Find Your Thank You Partner
One of the problems we face in showing gratitude is that as a sales professional, the greatest thing we have to offer is what we’ve already given: our services. To take referrals to the next notch, you need to expand your resources. You need something new to offer. The best way to do that is to partner.
Our favourite approach is to create a relationship with a local restaurant. Preferably somewhere that owner or manager is a) highly service oriented, and b) motivated to bring new faces in the door.
Step 2: Your Partner Starts the Process
When someone sends you a referral (and that referral leads to business) your new partner – in this case the owner/manager of the local restaurant—will call the referrer and invite him or her to their restaurant for a dinner for two.
The dialogue might sound something like this:
“Hi this is John. I’m the manager at the Grand Restaurant. Richard Robbins called to tell me that you recently referred business to him.
To show his appreciation, he asked me to call you and invite to our restaurant for a dinner for two on him.
I’d like to give you my name and number and ask that you call me directly anytime when it is convenient for you to enjoy a complimentary dinner with us.”
Having your partner make the offer a) makes it more unexpected and b) allows your referrer to more easily take advantage of your offer without feeling guilty, as opposed to saying, “Oh, don’t worry about it Richard.”
Step 3: Take It Up Another Notch
Have John from the restaurant call you when the reservation is confirmed. That day, you drop off some flowers at the restaurant with a note thanking them for the referral, and wishing them a great evening. (Thanks to Tracy Mullen one of our great coaching clients for improving my idea!)
The End Result: Money Well Spent
You can imagine the scene. They show up for dinner and John, our service-driven manager roles out the red carpet, because after all, he’s meeting some new customers, too.
They sit down at the table to flowers and a note from you. They enjoy a nice—and free—dinner, and walk away feeling wowed. John debits your credit card (with a discount for introducing them to his restaurant) and sends you an itemized bill.
Sound expensive? The whole evening might cost you a hundred dollars, give or take. When the average real estate sales professional makes thousands per deal, your memorable thank you is a small price to pay.
When you do the unexpected people feel it. They join you in being grateful. The unexpected thank you is one that delights…and it’s also one that leads to more referrals.
How are you rewarding your referrers? Do you have a robust, easy to use real estate CRM system to track those who refer you? If not, you can sign up for IXACT Contact free for 5-weeks here. And, don’t forget to ask us about our new Rookie Agent program!
The original article by Richard Robbins can be found here.