Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just How Referrable Are You?

Victoria Trafton, Guest Author

We all want more referrals for our business right? Who wouldn’t, 1 out of 6 referrals close versus 1 out of 20 prospects obtained by other marketing methods. Our studies at Referral Institute of Central Arizona show that 1 out of 10 past clients buy again so a referral is even better than a past client.

RQ2Are you achieving those closing ratios with your referrals? Are you getting all the referral business you want? Do you give more referrals than you receive? Your ability to win the referral game depends on one thing – your “Referability Quotient.” Just how referable are you anyway? If you have deep relationships with people who want to help you and you are not getting a lot of high quality referrals, you need to look at your RQ.

I devised a way to determine my RQ and I will share that with you. It is not particularly scientific but it will give you a starting point. After all if you can’t measure something you can’t systematically improve it. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being low and 10 being high . How referable are you? That’s your RQ. Be realistic. If you think you are a 10, you must be getting all the referral business you want.

You can check your self assessment by looking at the percentage of your business that has come from referrals in the last 12 months. Once you get the percentage, divide that by 10. How does that final number compare with your self-determined RQ. You may have rated yourself an 8 and you got 60% of your business by referral. If you divide the 60% by 10, there is a gap between your assessment of yourself (8) and the referral business you got (6). So, it might be worth a look to see how to improve your RQ.

How do you improve your RQ? There are two philosophies that are essential for a high RQ. One is the idea of “Givers Gain®“. This is the “motto” of BNI, an international networking organization that has generated billions of dollars of referred business for its members for more than 20 years. Members of BNI experience the benefits of adopting this philosophy. Those who join a chapter and attend every week with the intention of giving to others, get a lot of referrals. If they use the training available and proven structure of the group process, others are able to send referrals their way. They are motivated to give referrals to people who make a regular contribution to the group.

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The second philosophy is “It’s all my fault”. We teach this philosophy at Referral Institute. Here’s how it works:

1. If I get poor quality referrals, it’s all my fault. Perhaps I need to educate my referral partners on what a good referral is for me.

2. If I don’t get referrals, it’s all my fault. Perhaps I need to work with my referral sources and train them on how to refer business to me.

3. If I can’t close referrals, it’s all my fault. Perhaps I need to work with my referral sources to put together a layered referral strategy that builds to the close in such a way that I am almost guaranteed to get the sale.

Whatever the “problem” is, it is truly all my fault. In the past years of studying referral marketing and learning strategies and techniques to give and get good referrals, I have learned that referral relationships need to be developed before we ask for and expect referrals. Referral sources also have to be trained on what I do, how to promote me to their contacts, and what a good referral is for me. We also have to work together to assure I approach their contact in the right way so I protect their relationship and enjoy the benefit of third party trust in making a sale.

All of this takes training and time to implement. Our focus at Referral Institute is 100% referral marketing because we have seen proof that people educated in referral marketing are very successful in achieving all their business goals through referrals.

Copyright © 2013 – Victoria Trafton – Reprinted with permission. Victoria Trafton is a referral marketing specialist. She is the owner of Referral Institute of Central Arizona, a referral training and consulting company. For further information: www.ReferralInstituteAZ.com, and www.VictoriaTrafton.com.

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