Have you received a referral from anyone recently? What did you do to thank them?
Referrals are the greatest source of business that you can tap into as a real estate agent. I preach about this quite often because it’s not only true of our industry, it’s true of ALL industries. There is no more reliable or consistent way to generate sales than looking to your loyal, pre-sold clients for leads.
I have some bad news though… if you fail to follow up and thank them properly, you will miss out on numerous referrals from each and every person already sending you business. The GREAT NEWS is that when you do thank someone properly for sending you referrals, you are programming them at the same time to send you even more business in the future!
So, how do you properly thank people when they send you a referral? I’ve outlined a proven 4-step process below, and then I’ve included the best systems to use for rewarding and nurturing your referral base.
4-Step Thank You Process
Step 1 – Acknowledge the referral immediately when you receive it, even if the referral is not going to work out for some reason. Send out a thoughtful note acknowledging the action as quickly as possible. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, and you don’t want to violate any rules and regulations in the process but you want to make sure they know you genuinely appreciate their support. So, the more personal your follow up, the better.
Step 2 – Stay in touch with the referring party throughout the buying/selling process to inform them how things are progressing with their referral, and how well you’re taking care of everyone. This shows you not only care about the referral, but also the person who sent you business.
Step 3 – Recognize the referring party in your Monthly Client Newsletter and on social media, because people love to see their name in print. By acknowledging the referral publicly, you automatically encourage others to refer business to you as well!
Step 4 – Appreciate the referral at closing by sharing your gratitude with the referring party, and with your new client. A simple letter to each reporting the successful transaction will do, but adding small details about your experience working with them can make it feel even more personal.
Rewarding & Nurturing Your Referral Base
Once you have the process down for properly thanking those that send you business, you can start to work on the ways to reward and nurture these advocates to maximize the number of referrals they send you. There are two reward systems that I recommend using to boost reciprocity between you and your advocates:
Referral Reward System #1: The Perennial Reward Gift™
It’s a gift that keeps coming throughout the year and continues to REMIND your client of you – without you doing any additional work. An example could be an annual magazine subscription, such as “Architectural Digest”, but it should be something that appeals to THEM. The secret to making this work is to identify THEIR personal interests or passions, and give a gift that truly appeals to them – that’s how you make a meaningful impression.
Here are a few additional ideas to help you be creative (don’t violate any state laws or regulations relating to “value” in the process)… make sure you switch up your reward each year because you’ll be working with a lot of the same people over and over – that is the whole point of referrals after all:
- Donate to their Favorite Charity. You make a huge impression by identifying the causes they love, and making a donation in THEIR name.
- 5 Free Car Washes. Go to your local quality car wash and see if you can purchase a book of car washes. Each time they visit the car wash, they’ll think of you.
- 2-4 Free Oil Changes. Same as above, but go to a quick lube place and get them 2 to 4 quick lube oil changes to cover them for 6 months or a year. Each time they go, they think of you.
- 8 Free Movie Tickets. See if you can get an annual pass to a movie theater, or a booklet of passes so they can see a few movies. Each time they visit, they think of you.
- Free Coffee. Give a coupon for 10 free coffees – each time they visit their favorite coffee house, they’ll think of you.
Referral Reward System #2: The Give to Get™ System
Any time you get a referral from someone, place their name, their business or occupation, and their phone number on a spreadsheet or on a piece of paper in a file. Accumulate all the names of people who have given you referrals in the past on your sheet (or file) as well. Then you want to do 2 things:
- Keep the list of referring people handy, and make sure you take the time to REFER BACK TO THEM and send them business at any chance you get. Keep your mind awake for opportunities to share new business with others – this can even work for people who haven’t sent you any referrals yet – because nothing generates more reciprocity than supporting someone’s work.
- Create a special “Personal Referral Sourcebook” and share the names and businesses with your Power List™. This way, they’re not only getting referrals from you, they’re probably going to get referrals from others who know you. In essence, you’re multiplying the “reciprocation” to them, by sharing the names of everyone who refers to you. As always, be sure not to “endorse” the services of others.
Say Thanks and Get More Business
Properly thanking the people who already send you business is an incredibly useful strategy if you’re already getting business referred to you and we wanted to make that process even easier. So, I’ve included a ready-to-use letter below that you can use during step 4 to thank those people already sending you business.
Keep in mind, the 2 strategies I’ve outlined are a great way to get more referrals from a small group of people but if you’re looking to get more referrals from more people on a consistent basis, you should be using a Monthly Client Newsletter like Service For Life!®, to easily create repeat and referral business from those likely to work with you and recommend you to their friends and family.
(PS – the letter we included above is just one of 40 money-making sales letters included as a BONUS with a Service For Life!® subscription!)
Build a Client Network That Brings You Business All Year Long!
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