It’s September and one of the craziest times of the year!! I don’t know about you, but I have 2 littles who headed back to school (my sweet Emma headed to HS and my Jack Jack is headed to middle school – God help us all!)! Then the big guy has officially started college!!! I’m just starting to get used to his door being open all the time. And my oldest – AKA “Baby Girl”, Ashley is starting a new job!! So obviously, we have lots going on at the Schaefer household. Plus, this time of year client requests go up and the “holiday” planning gets started right away!
I’m not sure about you, but we tend to have a “little lull” over the summer months. Many people are too focused on Summer vacations, and just keeping up with the kids being out of school.
But this year, we didn’t have as big a “lull” as normal. Why? One word – REFERRALS!
The number of referrals that came in over the Summer was record-breaking for us! And the reason it was, is because we have a very systematic referral plan process we have put in place and actively been “tweaking” for the past 3 years.
One of the things that seem pretty obvious is asking for referrals, yet it’s been said that less than 30% of companies actually have a referral program in place. The only way you can receive is by making sure you’re asking!
One of the greatest lessons you can learn is that of being a “go-giver”. People LOVE to give referrals and even more so when it’s to someone they’ve received FROM. Its called the law of reciprocity. If you aren’t giving – try to start this week! Is there someone you would LOVE to refer? While you’re out and about marketing YOUR business, be sure to keep your listening ears on so that you can share the love too!
When I first started my business, I never received referrals – mostly because I was honestly too afraid to ask! (TRUTH!) But then as I became more confident, I would kind of “half-ass” ask. Mostly, because I wasn’t sure HOW. But what I learned was that many of my clients were so busy themselves, that my services and I weren’t exactly on their radar. So, I needed to make it easy for my clients to pass on our name – and then reward them when they did! Remember that many of your clients can hardly keep up – that’s why they have YOU – which becomes a Catch-22 to receiving referrals. But once you put a system of asking in place that is easy, the referral WILL come.
Have you ever gotten a referral from a colleague or someone you met at a networking event, but it didn’t pan out? That’s totally normal. What this creates is an opportunity for you to take control and show others HOW to refer you and the best way to create a positive outcome. The outcome ideally would be you being hired, if it’s the right fit, and your colleague gets to look like a knight or goddess in shining armor. Remember this: People aren’t giving you referrals because they genuinely don’t know what you’re looking for.
With this information in mind, how will you stop letting referrals slip through your fingers?
I also found some VERY exciting statistics I would like to share with as well!
According to Texas Tech University: 83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience—yet only 29% actually do.
Because referral marketing programs don’t run themselves. And referred customers don’t show up without asking for them.
I’d love to hear your plans to improve your referral process, or what’s working really well for you right now. If you need help with your referral process we can help there too.
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