Why a referral network is built on giving
Often, we hear people say “I didn’t get much from being part of a network.” This is often because people fail to understand that receiving comes after giving. In this post, we’ll build on last weeks article, Create Your First Referral Network and explore how we can give more to build customers loyalty, help referral partners and in-turn help your businesses.
How to start giving to your referral network.
First, we need to focus on giving more value to your customers. This is as simple as looking out for their other needs, writing them down and then trying to solve them. More often than not, these needs can be satisfied by another business who has complementary skills to yours and is part of your referral network. The fact that solving these needs generates referrals is a fantastic byproduct of helping your customers more.
Whilst businesses typically look for opportunities to help when the customer is near to a transaction with them, this should also be part of the regular checkin with your customers. Not only does it give you a reason for the checkin, but it increases the amount of value you provide to your customers and if every member of a referral network did the same, there would be many happy more loyal customers and referrals generated.
Let’s review a variety of scenarios where customers must engage with several businesses. In these scenarios, a customer will almost always need all the businesses listed, therefore if your one of these, why not help with the introductions and referrals:
- A significant investment, like a home. The home owner will need a real estate agent, mortgage broker, accountant, lawyer, exit cleaner and a mover.
- A significant new venture, like creating your cafe or building a new commercial building as an investment. The owner will need an architect, business lender, accountant, lawyer, builder and design agency to name a few.
- A personal event, like a new marriage. A couple will need a celebrant, venue, dress, food and drink. As they look to purchase their first home, they will need the businesses listed above also.
To maximise help to customers, understand how your referral partners can help your customer. Once you understand this, you’ll be in a position to not only gain greater customer advocacy through helping your customers more, you’ll also provide a steady stream of referrals.
How to have the customer conversation
To uncover these customer needs, you can ask your customer one of the below depending on the scenario:
- Is there anything else you need help with? I have several business I trust who can assist.
- Do you need anything else me or my network can assist with? Typically we ca help with most things in this scenario.
- Calling to check in and see how you are and if there is anything I can help with? Also, I’ve created a network of businesses I trust who can also help, is there anything we can do for you?
From the above, write down the customer needs and which referral partners can assist and then send the referrals, preferably with a standard process and platform like harveypence.com.
How to leverage to get more customers
Through this giving you gain happier customers and also an opportunity opens up for reciprocation. Businesses often believe that they will be referred more customers through only providing great service. This is true in part and the important overlooked step is to ask:
- your customers to share your business via word of mouth.
- your referral partners to ask their customers if they need assistance from your business and to send you the referrals in return.
Depending on where you are, we suggest you read our articles on who should be in your referral network or if you have a referral network, our article on referral network huddles will be the most helpful. In the spirit of giving, we’d love you to share this article with your friends and business partners.
Harvey Pence helps businesses to grow faster with a referral network. The Harvey Pence Referral Platform and our Comprehensive Guide are the best resources to help you create, improve and grow your referral network.