Writing the Letter that gets you More Referrals
By Jeffrey Dobkin
What’s the best way to get more business?
And the best way to get more referrals? By writing a “Thank-you for your referral” letter. Here’s how it works:
First, you get a referral. I know – I’m as surprised as you are, but sometimes it happens! I got one just a few years ago myself! Somewhere down the line someone passed around some good words about you to a colleague, and they called.
What can you do to encourage someone to refer you again? Answer: send them a “Thank You for your referral!” letter.
Here’s what happens: Your “Thank you!” letter elevates you from the silent majority who never bothered to express their appreciation for being referred.
Your letter placed you well above the 99% of all other people who have received a referral and never even said thanks, let alone wrote a “Thank you” letter.
The golden rule in direct marketing is a well-satisfied customer is the most likely person to purchase again. That’s why when you make a catalog purchase, you shortly get a slew of catalogs in the mail – you’re a most-likely buyer. Stands to reason the person most likely to refer you a new business client is a person who just referred you. IF you sent them a letter of thanks.
Face it: a phone call just doesn’t have the impact of a thank you letter. Whatever you said on the phone – that fades into greater distance with every sunset. But not a letter. A letter has time to sit on the recipient’s desk as a lasting memento of your appreciation. A phone call just doesn’t have the lasting impact or the visual goodwill generated by an appreciative letter of thanks.
The Most Valuable Letter you can write –
The most valuable letter you can write is to thank someone for their referral.
“Thank you for your kind referral. I appreciate the privilege to be of service
to your colleagues and friends. I don’t take referrals lightly, and assure you I will provide good value…”
“Thank you so much for your referral and your trust…”
A referral is the ultimate expression of trust a client can offer.
It’s the leap of faith that your performance will continue to be exceptional.
The person who recommends you puts their own name and reputation on the line for you. Does it deserve a thank you letter? Yes… yes it does!
But wait, there’s more: Why is a “Thank you for your referral!” letter so effective?
It makes the person who referred you feel comfortable that your performance will continue to be exceptional.
Your dedication to detail will make them look good.
This is surprisingly easy to do with a well-written letter.
A personal letter is literally the best way to show you really do appreciate the trust they’ve placed in you. You can make the person who referred you feel, well, like they should refer more people to you, all the time.
And therein lies the beauty, the value, and the monetary worth in our term “the most valuable letter you can write!”
The “Thank you for your referral!” letter – is a letter the receiver will remember forever. And when the opportunity comes up again, he’ll refer more people to you.
Referrals Letters: better than “Word of Mouth” advertising
You’ve heard of word-of-mouth advertising as the best (and the cheapest) form of advertising? OK, you’re right. But it’s hard to generate.
A letter referring you is better because it’s how you make referrals happen again and again — all with a single sheet of paper.
The “Thank you for your referral” letter is the least costly AND the most effective piece of advertising you can write. For the price of a single sheet of paper the person who just referred you becomes the MOST likely person to refer you again.
A thoughtfully written “Thanks for your kind referral” letter becomes a blend of art and wording that assures trust. It’s marketing magic, in the form and style of a letter. Spend time writing it, and make it a nice one.
Referrals Gifts: Send a Hard-Working Gift
What does my office do for people who refer direct marketing consulting or copywriting clients to us? We give them a gift.
We send them a Cross Pen, and of course the gift arrives with a letter. The gift comes with a well written letter that says thank you so much for your kind referral. While the pen is a nice gift, the real value – for us – is in the letter. The pen just gets their attention.
To increase its relevance, and so they remember the pen was a thoughtful gift over time, we have THEIR name engraved on it — because as best as I can figure, the only person who wants a pen with my name on it is me! The engraving increases the cost of the pen by $10 but it’s well worth it as it makes the pen a special gift, and person who referred a client to us feel so very special as well. And they are. Don’t worry, if you send a gift like this to a client for a referral he made he’ll remember where he got it, yes – even though your name isn’t engraved on it! Because, an engraved pen IS special.
By the time we ship their new pen to them, and of course our own personal letter of thanks, it costs us about $35. Is it worth it? You tell me: the person who received the referral of my firm and called to inquire about our services trusts us because he received the personal recommendation from a friend. If we do any work for the new client, our copywriting and marketing consulting fees range from… well, we get our $35 back pretty quick. Many clients stay with us for years.
All the prospects referred to us don’t become customers or clients. Some don’t need our direct marketing consulting, creative for ads, or graphics and copywriting. Some just aren’t ready to move forward with their direct marketing or direct mail plans just yet; and some have advertising or marketing agencies they’re comfortable working with. No matter. We still send an engraved pen to the referral source with our nicest letter of thanks. It’s not their fault a potential client didn’t become a customer. We still really appreciate their referral all the same.
Over the long haul the more letters we send, the more referrals we seem to get.
If you’d like to get more business, write an exceptional “Thank you for your referral!” letter, and keep it at-the-ready in your computer. For the cost of a sheet of paper, and envelope and a stamp your can encourage someone to refer a client to you again and again. A Cross Pen sent with your letter makes a great gift and increases the effectiveness of your letter by a good percentage.
Cheap pens get thrown in a drawer, nice pens go on top of a desk. Engraved nice pens with the client’s name travel in their shirt pocket or purse. This permanent reminder continually draws nice thoughts of you and your firm for years! You can’t buy that kind of advertising, goodwill or trust; or those kindly referrals – at any price. Or can you?
Jeff Dobkin will now take your questions. No, seriously – he will. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org Or call him at 610-642-1000. Jeffrey is a lousy copywriter. Fortunately, he’s a great editor and edits the shit out of his lousy copywriting until it’s perfectly honed and totally focused on reaching his client’s objectives – which Jeff usually feels should be “to call.” Jeffrey considers “Hello” to be the beginning of every client and every relationship.
Jeffrey Dobkin’s specialty is writing and designing letters, print ads and web content. He has written 5 books on direct marketing and two on humor. Please buy his books — he needs the money. Just kidding! You don’t have to buy his books. Just send the money.
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