Building a referrals-based business
Building a referrals-based business involves having the right systems in place to stay in touch and build lifelong relationships with your sphere of influence (SOI). In my previous articles, I’ve discussed this in-depth. But there are things you can do to maximize your referral business and ensure that the relationship-building work you’re doing is paying off.
In the book, Learning How to Avoid the Gap, business consultant Dan Sullivan discusses three behaviors that make you “referral worthy.” These three behaviors are very easy to adopt into your business. They may seem small, but they’ll make a big difference!
- Be punctual. Make sure you’re on time for your meetings, you call people when you say you’ll call them, and you return emails promptly. In fact, try to arrive early for meetings. You never know when you’ll be stuck in a traffic jam or need some extra time to prepare. Reliability is key to building trust.
- Keep your word. If you mention that you’ll take care of something, keep your word and make good on your promises. It can be easy to get into the habit of telling people what they want to hear. The problem is, this often means that you’re unable to follow through with the promise or commitment you’ve made with these people. You need to keep your word in order to provide great customer service. And doing what you say you’ll do is key to building credibility.
- Say “Please” and “Thank You.” Never underestimate the power of saying “please” and “thank you.” It’s been shown that if you properly show appreciation after the first referral given to you, a past client will be five times more likely to recommend your services again. Saying thank you makes people feel good and shows to others that you appreciate them. You could easily argue that saying please and thank you are the foundation to building successful relationships.
It’s important to make habits out of the three points above. Make sure you have the right technology tools in place, like a customer relationship management (CRM) system, to make sure you’re on time and following through with your promises and commitments. You’ll want to use your CRM to set reminders, schedule your appointments and meetings, and work off your calendar and task list.