Not all referrals are created equal. That’s not to downplay any referral in any way, it’s just that from a convert the referred lead to a referred customer, there is one factor that plays a major role.
That factor is the participation of the referral source.
In other words, the more engaged your referral source is in the process of making a referral, the more likely it is that the lead will become a customer. The logic is pretty simple really – when someone refers a friend to your business, you are ultimately borrowing the know, like, and trust they have built with the referred party. The more engaged they are, the more trust they lend.
So, from a practical, business tactic standpoint, you should build engagement into your referral process (you have a referral process, right? That’s another discussion.)
The more willing your referral source is to participate, the better the lead. Participation can mean picking up the phone and calling a prospect or creating a way to formally introduce your business. In the referral world a three way lunch would be the ultimate, while a name scribbled on a scrap of paper would be the unultimate, but some folks are so eager to get any kind of lead, they’ll accept the later.
I know someone is doing your business a huge favor by agreeing to make a referral of any sort, but you’ve got to believe in you heart that you are actually doing them a favor by allowing them to introduce your valuable products and services to others who will benefit. If you can wrap your head around that notion, then you will have no problems devising ways to get your referral sources more engaged.
I wonder if you would take a quick 5 question survey on referrals for my next book – thanks!