Question: “How Do You Bridge The Trust Gap To Achieve A Landslide Of Referrals”? Answer: “By developing Bridgers!”
You’ve probably heard me say several times, “The easiest sale you’ll ever make is to a customer you are currently doing business with. The second easiest sale you’ll ever make is to a REFERRAL.” I can’t emphasize that enough. But where do most companies “spend and waste” most of their marketing and advertising dollars, time, and effort? Chasing after new prospects they’ve never done business with. So what is the key to developing that “Landslide of Business” from Referrals? Here’s the answer, by developing Bridgers.
— So here’s the next question you’re going to ask. What’s a Bridger? I’ll explain. There are three components that need to be present for you to make a sale. First, people must like you, Second, they must trust you. And third, you must have a product or service they need. Now you’re probably asking why I brought this up about making a sale. You see, obtaining a referral uses the same process as making a sale. In a nutshell, if people don’t like you, trust you, or you can provide a good product or service for their clients, people won’t refer you.
There are two ways to generate referrals for your business. First, you can be proactive, and use a Referral System like the system I implement with companies, and go out and get referrals. However, it requires work on your part. You must create a description of your four kinds of clients. You then need to go through your data base and identify your “Spheres of Influence, Referral Partners, and Clients.” You then create a plan and set a goal to do the work to meet with all of these different resources to create the referrals you need to grow a prosperous business.
Can you believe it? The year is almost over. How are you doing on your 2012 goals? You have two and one half months left to make it happen if you haven’t. What is the best way for you to achieve your goals? By getting referrals. I know many people are mesmerized with social media. But think about how your met your best customers. Think about how you acquired the people you consider your best relationships, If you think about it you were probably introduced (referred) to these people. So why don’t you just get more referrals to expand your base of relationships?
As you probably already know there’s three critical conditions that have to exist before clients will buy from you. First, “they must like you.” Most everyone probably likes you so that shouldn’t be a problem. Second, “You must provide a good product or service.” You probably are capable of delivering a good product or service so that shouldn’t be an issue. The third and most critical condition is this, “The Prospect Must TRUST You.”
TRUST is critical and key. There is a TRUST GAP between you and your prospect. This gap either prevents them from buying or it moves them towards buying. The width of the gap is determined by how much the prospect knows about you and what kind of relationship you have with them. The wider the gap, the harder it is to sell. The smaller the gap the better your chance of closing the deal. There are about “nine trust gates to customer commitment” that are constantly going through your prospects mind (these all happen subconsciously) when they are trying to make a buying decisions.
When you receive a Referral to a prospect from someone who has influence with the prospect, you have instant credibility. That is you have instant TRUST. The “TRUST GAP” is instantly closed and you are your prospect are standing on the same side of the gap. When that happens you have a great chance (about 80 to 90 per cent when your referral is gathered correctly) of closing your deal.
Most business people invest most of their marketing dollars on advertising that’s done incorrectly and doesn’t work. Invest some money in building relationships and you’ll see your number of referrals grow.
David L. Sims
Why are testimonials critical? When you make a statement about you, your company, your products, or your service, it’s a claim. When your satisfied or enthusiastic customer makes the same statement about you, it’s a fact.
You cannot overuse testimonials. The number one marketing error most business people make is the under use of testimonials. If you do nothing else to improve your marketing, but use testimonials you’ll have a strong competitive edge on your competition.
For Starters, think of testimonials as a pair of verbal “snapshots.” The first is the “before” picture—the problem or the skepticism: The second is the “After” picture—the positive result, the pleasant surprise, the solution.
Second, view testimonials as strategic weapons. Make two lists: one of every claim, feature, benefit, and fact about what you’re marketing that you want to substantiate; second, every doubt, fear, or question that might exist in your prospective customers mind. Then collect and use testimonials that specifically substantiate the claims and eliminate the doubts.
Determine all the objections a prospect will have for not buying your product or service. It could be price, not interested, they don’t want to put forward the effort, they don’t want to invest the time, etc. Whatever the objections you might encounter for people not buying your product or service, gather testimonials that will address each of those objections.
You want a letter with three or four benefits your customer received from working with you. Put the testimonials on the customer’s letterhead it that’s possible. List the customer’s full name and city where they’re located. (If you’re uncomfortable publishing their name get them to sign a short release form stating you have the right to use their name and city. In over 25 years of using testimonials I have never had a business owner or employee object.)
If you struggle getting testimonials then you can write them and get your customer to sign them. The way I’ve done this is to comment to the customer, “Mr./Ms. Customer, you’ve mentioned several times of your happiness with our service/product. I know there are many other people who would love to enjoy the benefits of our product/service if they only knew about it. Would you mind if I place your kind comments on a sheet of your letterhead and shared it with others?
I’ve never have anyone to say “NO.” If you have a good relationship with your customer then you shouldn’t have a problem.
You should use testimonials whenever you can. On brochures, on your web site, in letters you send to customers, on any advertising, even in proposals. You can never use too many testimonials and they’ll boost your sales closing ratio.
If you’re having difficulty getting testimonials let me know and I’ll find out if I can help you become more successful at it. Testimonials are critical for you to establish trust.
Soar With The Eagles
David L. Sims
Ten Tips To Create
- First you must have a clear understanding of the term Referral. Many people mistake a name or a lead for a referral. There’s a big difference. The true definition of a Referral is this, “An introduction to a decision-maker, on your behalf, by someone who has influence with the decision-maker. And the person referring recommends the two of you meet or that you do business with each other.
- You must develop a regular “strategic planning time” to plan activities to engage in to put yourself in a position to get referrals.
- You must create and internalize a compelling introduction or “elevator speech” to completely explain all the services and benefits you bring to the marketplace in a very short time.
- Conduct a thorough and complete analysis of your database to identify the different kinds of clients you have. You’ll find that your database will break down into four different categories of clients. Each category will have certain characteristics about them. You must know them all. It’s important to know who you want as well as who you don’t want.
- You must have a clear target of the prospects you want to be referred to. Most people take the “shotgun” approach. To be very successful, you want the “rifle” approach to getting referred to prospects that will help you build a big business.
- Avoid the typical verbal traps people fall into when asking for referrals. The number one reason people don’t get referrals is, “they don’t ask.” The number two reason people don’t get referrals is, “they ask the wrong questions.”
- Create an introduction you can give to partners when they are introducing you to new prospects. Selling is all about positioning and the first step in the positioning process is to get a referral. The second step in positioning is what is said about you to the referral when you’re introduced. To control the process you must control what people say about you when they introduce you.
- Have referral antennae. Create a “referral awareness.” When a client or someone else speaks highly to you about your work or service, make note of that. That creates an ideal environment for the right time to ask for a referral.
- A great way to get referrals is to give referrals.
- Create a reward system. Whenever someone gives you a referral, give them a reward. Reward them whether the referral turns into a sale or not.
I had a meeting with an excellent net worker recently and he asked me a simple question. He asked, “how do I convince people in our groups that it is in their best interest to refer others?” He then asked another question,
“What are the benefits they receive when they do refer?”
Now that’s a great question because almost everyone in a referral relationship is looking for ways to get others to refer to them. So today I’m going to list many of the major benefits you’ll receive when you refer to others.
But first, here’s a question for you. “Why should you attempt to get referrals in the first place?” For one thing the easiest sale you’ll ever make is to a current client you have. You’ll expend most of your money, time, and effort trying to get new clients. It’s “FIVE” times as hard to sell something to someone you’ve never done business with than it is to a current client. It’ll cost you “FIVE” times as much money to replace a current client as it will to keep one you already have.
The second easiest sale you’ll ever make is to an introductory referral you received from someone having influence with the person they’re referring you to!
Traditional advertising is getting extremely difficult to make it pay for itself because of all the noise in the market place. You’re exposed to ten-times as much information in a 24-hour period nowadays as you were in a two-week period just ten years ago. So the most effective way to build your business is with referrals.
Here are 7 reasons you should refer to someone else.
- The more you give the more you’ll receive. There’s that universal law about, “What goes around comes around.”
- When you refer you must learn about the other person. You’ll learn more about them personally and professionally. Since getting referrals is all about building relationships, you’ll build a stronger relationship with that person.
- You’ll appear more professional when you refer. People will begin viewing you as a “Center-Of-Influence” and a resource to go to.
- When you begin referring more, people you refer to will feel they need to repay you and will begin seeking out referrals for you.
- When you begin focusing more on the referral process you’ll see growth in the number of referrals coming back to you. The reason for this is simple, “What you focus on in life expands.”
- When you help others succeed you’ll feel better about yourself. This will grow your attitude and self-confidence. This in turn will help you become more successful because “attitude and self-confidence” are key ingredients for success.
- And last but certainly not least, life is like a garden. When you plant a seed you’ll receive a return for you effort. If you plant negative, you get negative in return. If you plant positive, you get positive in return. You don’t get a return of “one-for-one” you get a return of “multiples.” So it is with referrals. When you plant a referral seed, you’ll get a return of multiple referrals.
Remember if you’re trying to build a business or an organization the second easiest sale you’ll ever make is to a referral. Also, a referral is 50 times easier to sell to than a cold-call.
If you want some excellent “FREE” information about how to receive more referrals, go to www.referralspro.com and check it out. If you have any questions or want more information about the referral process, you can call me at 417-831-0050 or email me at email@example.com
Soar With The Eagles
David L. Sims
- Look for someone who is ambitious. The reason you need someone ambitious is this, you want someone who is searching for a prospect to fit your description.
- You want to find someone who belongs to several organizations or is very involved in the community. They have to have a lot of contacts to be able to find the kinds of prospects you need. Your attitude should be that you’re building a relationship to get referrals so you want someone who’s connected.
- You want to team up with someone who has a good product or service you feel comfortable referring to. Then you work to find referrals for them.
- You want to find someone who feels referrals are important to building their business and is willing to invest “sweat equity” to make the relationship work.
- You then develop a relationship with them and meet at least monthly to work on the referral process.
- You reward them for their effort. The easiest reward is for you to work to help them by giving them referrals.
Soar With The Eagles
(Or how you can get all the referrals you need in just 15 minutes a week.)
How many times have you heard this old adage, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail?” But as you know, “knowing and doing are two different things.” As Yoda in Star wars said, “There is not know, only do.” But still how often do you begin each day or week with a plan? If you’re like 80% of the people in business, you don’t have one. I’m going to outline a simple yet effective way you can begin each week with a plan (that will take you less than 15 minutes) and will result in more and better referrals. After all, how many referrals do you need to become very successful?
In past articles I’ve talked about developing a description of your Ideal and Bread and Butter clients. So I won’t go over that again because you already know how to do that. So today I’m going to share with you an exercise you can do in 15 minutes and get results.
First: Make a list of your 10 best, most faithful clients. These are clients who think you walk on water and wouldn’t leave your to go to one of your competitor’s for love nor money. (I hope you have several of these, if you don’t that’s another problem.)
Second: Prioritize the list like this. As you review the 10 names on the list ask yourself this question. “If I were in trouble at 2:00am in the morning and needed help who on this list would be the most likely person to come to my rescue?” You write that name down. Then who would be the second person to come to your aid? Write that name in the second place. And so on until you prioritize all 10 names.
Third: Now call the person on the list you marked as number 1 and schedule a meeting to ask for referrals. Then move to the second name, etc. until you’ve called all ten and scheduled meetings.
Will you schedule meetings with all of them? Probably not, since some will be in meetings, some will be out of the office, etc. But the one’s you do get to will schedule meetings for you to get referrals. In the next session I’ll tell you what to do when you get to your meeting that will motivate your client to give you several referrals. Remember the only thing that will keep you from getting more referrals will be your reluctance to act because your clients are more than willing to refer to you.
When you use this method you’ll be amazed at how many referrals you can get in a short time. When you begin using this technique your “Time Management” will be drastically improve because you won’t have to spend so much time prospecting. You’ll have much more time for selling, service, family, and hobbies.
Remember, you can either Soar With The Eagles, Or Scratch With The Turkeys!
As you know money is tight and all appearances is that it’s going to get tighter. Especially with the group of people we have in Washington wildly spending your money like fourteen drunken sailors on shore leave. So what can you do? Nothing about them spending your money but you can earn more money to offset what you have to pay to Washington. You know that marketing is critical, right? But you also know that most kinds of extended marketing for you is going to “cost a ton of money,” and probably more that you can afford. TV is very expensive and print and radio are not far behind. They’re all very expensive. That is except for the MOST EFFECTIVE form of marketing there is for you and your business. What is the most effective? REFERRALS of course.