Written by Bill Cates | @Bill_Cates
Are you referable? How do you know?
One barometer of your referability is that you’re getting referrals without asking for them. Are you? Do you have such a good initial process with new prospects and clients that they are thinking of people to refer you to before you even do much work for them? And as you work with your clients, do some of them continue to pass your name along and connect you with people?
This is one measure of your referability. And this counts, by the way. Getting referrals without asking for them is a testimony to your good work.
This article will give you a few ideas on how to become even more referable. By purposefully enhancing your referability, you'll get more referrals without asking for them -- and when you do ask, you’ll have more people receptive to your request.
A Referability ChecklistAlan Weiss, in his book Million Dollar Referrals, provides this list of qualities that contribute to one’s referability. Measure this against your current client relationships.
Think Process, Not Products If you’d like to get referrals sooner in your relationships, you need to think process over products. Selling a product will make you some money, but it’s unlikely to make you referable and create a word of mouth movement unless you have a process designed to deliver value every step along the way.
Do you have a clearly defined process through which you put most of your new clients? Is your process educational? Do you ask questions that get your prospects thinking in ways they haven’t thought before? Do you discuss expectations? Do you question their assumptions? Do you remain consistent with your process, or do you wing it? Use these questions to craft your sales process for ultimate referability.
Leverage Your ProcessHere are five steps that will ensure you get the most out of your process to make your clients happy and to generate referrals and introductions:
Never wing it when it comes to client interaction. Have processes in place, and document them with checklists. Then respect the checklists!
...to your boring, dull, business, business-y, business-page! Social media is about being social! If you just hammer me (and your clients) with loan programs, underwriting tips and all your listings I'm going to check-out! All that stuff is completely boring and doesn't matter to me unless I'm interested in that specific subject on that specific day, otherwise you lost me! Dis-engaged, not interested!
You've got this page going to get more business and to connect with your clients and potential clients, right? Then do it! In addition to sparingly used business posts, use crowd sourced material relevant to your marketplace and clients! Is there a fun event happening in your city, link to an article about it! Do you like make-over's, like I do...post a before and after shot of a kitchen, give gardening tips, DIY home improvement ideas, something about your favorite home town sports team! There is so much interesting stuff happening everyday, don't be afraid to tap into it!
Wait, there's one more element to add...it's the true part of the social experience...you have to get a little personal. Now I'm not talking about a #tbt picture of you at the prom in your sweet mullet (don't get me wrong, I love mullet pictures but there is a right place and time for them), I'm talking about a picture with happy clients at a closing, a "selfie" with a referral partner at lunch, a group shot at a networking event, or your foursome at that charity golf tourney! Did you go somewhere interesting, did you do something fun, did you see an amazing sunset? Share it!
So I feel like I smacked you around a bit about all the business posts, I'm sorry about that, but it had to be done. There's a whole lot more to getting this social media stuff right, like algorithms and consistency, but this will give you a start! If it's too much, or you know you can't do it right, we need to chat, and I promise to leave the boxing gloves at home!