Earning a customer through marketing and advertising takes time and hard work. It's expensive. You're lucky if you get a 2% conversion rate.
Referrals, on the other hand, land straight in your sales funnel from a qualified source, costing you little in time or expense. They're warm leads and convert at 50% or better.
While marketing and advertising are necessary, I think we can all agree that referrals are the golden ticket.
But who are these qualified sources magically sending perfect referrals to your door?
They're the people in your network.
If you're not getting great referrals from your network, you're likely hung up on one of these problems:
- You don't have a strong network
- Your network doesn't have a clue what a good referral for you looks like
The good news? You have it in your power to fix both of these.
I'd like to spend the remainder of this article talking about the latter, but if your problem is building a good network, I won't leave you hanging:
Pick up a copy of Networking is Not Working by Derek Coburn. It's a quick read (or listen) with practical examples and tips. You'll be on your way to creating a curated network in no time.
As to that other problem...
Your Ideal Referral
When I'm getting to know someone, one of my favorite questions to ask is:
"Who's your target client and what's your ideal project?"
I'm frequently met with a thoughtful "I don't know" face. So I rephrase the question:
"If I came across a project that was incredibly awesome and I referred it your way because I knew it was right in your wheelhouse and you could knock it out of the park...what would that project be?"
Do you see where I'm going with this?
How can your network send you a great referral if you don’t even you know who your ideal referral is?
Make it easy for people to help you
If you've done the work of nurturing relationships with other experts in your network and connected them to opportunities in the past, they'll want to reciprocate by helping you.
But unless you make it easy for them to help you, they probably won't.
When it comes to your ideal referral, you need to qualify who it is you want to help and how it is you can help them.
Once you've done your soul searching and can answer those questions, you need to educate your network so that they can be on the lookout for those great referrals.
If you want to get great referrals, you've got to:
- Define the types of problems you help people solve.
- Define your ideal client.
- Communicate this to your network.
When your network knows exactly what a good referral for you looks like, I guarantee they'll send it your way.
p.s. Get to know what ideal referrals look like for the people in your network so that you can be that magical source of great referrals for someone else.