I cherish the fond memories of my dad torturing me with Lionel Richie tapes on the long rides from Atlanta to Savannah Georgia in the summers. Lionel Richie aside, my dad is my biggest hero and mentor. He bent over backwards to make me the man I am today. And everything he’s ever said has had some weird way of coming true in my life. My ol’ man always preached to me that nothing is worth having if you don’t bust your butt to get it.
But there is one exception, isn’t there? The business referral. In golf it’s called a Gimme. A seasoned and hardened cold-caller labels it “cheating”. And business owners stamp it “a gift from the heavens”. While any agent knows th you still do have to close the deal, a steady stream of referrals makes life so much easier on business owners, especially with high end sales like telecom sales.
But to many successful telecom agents, referrals are simply a luck-of-the draw…a crap shoot…a slot machine. Do a good job, throw in a good word to your client, and hope for the best. Right?
What if you could CRUSH IT with referrals by being MORE proactive in boosting referrals and relying less on chance. And what if you could do so without GROVELING to your trusty clients? And what if your efforts actually materialized into big bucks? How much could that boost your profits in a given year?
Enter the Magical Telecom Agent Referral Formula
If you think back to any time you gave a referral to someone, you’ll realize that every referral is the RESULT OF A CONVERSATION. And in this conversation, Marketing Buddha Dean Jackson says there are three things must take place before a client refers business to your company.
1) Your referrer (your old client) must recognize that the conversation they are having with a potential prospect, is related to your telecom service offering.
2) Second, they must think of you
3) Finally, they must introduce you into the conversation
If any three of these pieces are missing, you can kiss that silky sweet telecom service referral goodbye. If there’s too much friction in any of these steps, you’ll most likely lose the referral too.
So the formula is simple. Increase the occurrence of any or all three of these steps; or reduce the friction in any of these three steps; and your number of referrals will increase. It’s simple math.
But let’s be honest…this is a LOT of work for your clients (who are busy doing other things that they find more important). So your job is to simplify these three steps for them both consciously and unconsciously.
Step 1: Identify
Identify what type of conversations your client COULD be having where he could think of you. Because your client sure isn’t going to think proactively for you! That would be a REACTIVE strategy, and the seasoned business owner knows that PROACTIVIVITY CLOSES SALES).
The first step is to come up with as many possible conversations as you could think of that your client could have in which she could possibly think of you. Examples:
1) Your accountant (or any accountant) might be talking with her client about how to cut business costs in the next fiscal year.
2) Your call center client may be discussing how she improved her business with her mastermind group
3) Your widget-maker client may be discussing business with a vendor or customer where poor communication, growing pains, or cost concerns could be a concern.
4) A management consultant partner be discussing streamlining with a client of theirs
5) A hostpital or health center may be holding an annual retreat with its vendors to discuss compliance and supply chain improvements.
Just Do It:
These are just a few. You should be able to come up with a dozen more at least…IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO DO IT. Turn off your cell phone, unplug from the web, and close your office door. Come up with a dozen conversations where someone who you’ve worked with, could think of you and your services.
This is the first step and in many cases, the most difficult. The next step involves getting them to think of you while in that conversation. We’ll cover that in our next Blog.
You can find Step Two of the Referral Gettin' Process HERE.
Do you have any other “conversations” that could take place where you could be referred. Please share them below in the comments section. And please share this with any other telecom agents you know…the lessons from this series could change their lives.