How to Get Referrals
I don’t know about you, but I hate asking people for referrals.
So here’s a way to get them, and how to use testimonials in your marketing.
It’s even tough for me to write a personal letter asking for a referral without sounding like a bleeding heart solicitation piece I once wrote for the “Friends of Trump” association who needed money for guns or something like that, but… a post card can serve this function just right.
Let’s say someone refers a client to you, from the post card you just sent them with the copy on it saying:
“Thanks for all your referrals! We appreciate our customers and friends who refer clients to us for our fast and friendly quotes. Don’t forget: we’re always ready to help anyone – whether they are our client or not – with any of their insurance questions or problems. Please let your friends and colleagues know to just give us a call at 800-234-4332 – we are always happy to help.”
You remember that post card, don’t you?
So now what do you do?
Besides opening that nice bottle of champagne celebrating the new client you just got, and then sending me a nice bottle of champagne for that new client you just got – you know, the one you already forgot to send me from the… oh never mind, you send the referring person a thank you letter. No, a call is not the same. With a call, after you hang up the phone you cease to exist. And don’t even think about sending them that pre-printed accountant’s thank-you card we discussed earlier – it still won’t work. You send them a hand typed letter thanking them. Right from your own computer. Signed by you in blue ink. Same as before.
Here’s what we do around here when we get a referral. And a FREE Sample Thank You Letter
We send the referring party a nice thank you letter, a really nice thank you letter, and a Cross Pen. We have the Cross pen engraved with THEIR name on it. Sure, we could have my company name engraved on it, but the only person that would think that’s great is… me. That pen goes inside their desk drawer. Big deal. When we have their name engraved on a pen – well, that pen goes in their shirt pocket (man), in their pocketbook (woman), or on top of their desk (neutered, wait… I mean neutral). And you just can’t buy that kind of “top-of-desk” real estate. Or “top-of-mind” awareness. Or can you?
Don’t worry, they’ll remember from whom they’ve received it – from the nice letter you sent them with the pen.
You did send them a really nice letter with the pen, didn’t you?
Here’s the most valuable writing on the page: it’s a sample Thank You letter.
In fact, it’s the Thank You letter we use around here. Short and sweet —
Thank you very much for your kind referral of me.
I appreciate it.
I don’t take referrals lightly, or for granted.
A referral means that you thought enough of my services
to recommend me as a professional, and thought enough
of me as a person to recommend me to a colleague.
I appreciate your trust – and assure you I will always act
well within the framework of fairness and good taste, and will
strive at all times to provide exceptional value.
Thank you again for the privilege of your referral, the
opportunity to be of service to your associate, and your trust.
A call – or an email – is not the same. You see a “Thank you for your referral” letter is a touchy, feely thing – kind of like that cute little red haired secretary you had until your wife found out. Don’t feel too bad, my wife won’t let me go out on dates, either. What the thank you letter really says is that you cared enough to sit down and type a personal letter, print it out, sign it, find an envelope and a stamp, and mail it. It was an effort. It’s a sincere “Thank you.”
Now they have a permanent record of your sincere thanks that can sit on their desk for days, and if it’s anything like my desk it probably will. I have letters from 1995 on my desk. But that’s in another article I was going to write – about procrastination – but I keep putting it off.
So you’ve just sent a wonderful Thank You letter to a person who just referred a new client to you. What do they think? They think: how nice it was, and start looking around to see who else they can refer. Is a new client worth the effort and the 49¢ postage? I think so.
Jeffrey Dobkin is a writer, author, motorcycle riding, racquetball playing good guy who has written 7 books including 5 books on successful direct marketing methods. He has also written a series of Insurance Sales Letters, a series of Financial Advisor Sales Letters, and a set of sales letters for Network marketers. You should buy something from him – he needs the money. Just kidding, you don’t have to buy anything from him — just send the money. Did I mention he also runs a non-profit Brain Injury Foundation? Yes, he does. Like I said, I’m… I mean he’s a pretty good guy.
Let Jeffrey Dobkin write for you: Custom Letters, website copy, booklets and corporate literature, direct mail pieces and stuff like dat dere. He’s also great at marketing strategy and full tilt marketing and advertising campaigns. Seriously, he’s good. Samples of his work can be found under the Creative Samples links in the left hand navigation bar.