A Proven System to Get Referral Business

By: Michaelwalsh
Business referrals are one of the tried and true (but sometimes frustrating) ways to grow your small business. A few years ago I learned a fact about how the brain works that when I applied it, exploded my referral business. Below, I'm going to quickly outline it for you so you can start using it today.

The normal advice given is to prove your worth, make sure the customer is happy and then ask for a referral. While it's sounds good, this is a really just a great way to eventually wonder why you get so few referrals. You understand if you've ever tried it.

If you wait until you have proven your worth, most of the time you've completed your work. Your client is pleased but then they are immediately on to the next thing. You're gone from their mind. It's not personal-it's the natural way their brain works.

This results in examples like waitresses, who while serving you can remember lots of detail about who was sitting where and everything you just ordered. Studies have shown that the moment she delivers the check, she struggles to remember anything about serving you. She's on to the next table.

The part of your brain responsible for this is the reticular activated system (RAS). Researchers call it the attention center of the brain. It has many tasks but one of them is choosing what to pay conscious awareness to.

Have you ever noticed how, once you like a certain car, you start to see them everywhere? Did they just suddenly appear or were they there all along? Your RAS responds to your interest by making the cars noticeable. They were there all along, before you liked them but they were not important so the RAS ignored them.

Some people advocate that the time to bring up referrals is after a product or service has been delivered and the customer is happy with the outcome. However, if you do it this way, your customers RAS will not automatically work with you. Your customer has gotten their result and their mind is on to the next thing - you are automatically forgotten.

You prime the pump by talking about referrals right away.

Example of a Referral Request

When you're talking to your customer for the first time... you can say something like, "Mrs. Jones, I only will take you on as a client if I am absolutely convinced that I can over-deliver exactly what you need.

One of the big reasons I do that is because I get more of my business by referral.

So, if we do business together, there will be a time when you are thrilled with who we are and what we do. We actively set it up that way.

When this happens you will probably want to talk about us to your friends, colleagues and associates. This is a good thing. As I mentioned, our business grows by word of mouth, so it is important to us that you are happy enough with our services to pay us for our work. We also want you to be so thrilled that you become one of our biggest allies and fans.

Once that takes place, I'm betting that you will want to tell you friends and associates about my service. Which is great! I'm going to make sure that you are so excited and pleased with your results that you can't wait to tell other people about me.

If you refer us to a colleague, it will be because of a benefit you see for that colleague by working with us.

I make sure that you get a ton of value so that you want to send friends and associates to get the same results.

I only have one request: If we work together, may I periodically check with you to see if you are thrilled yet?"

When you prime the pump like this, your customer's RAS gets a chance to start looking for ideal candidates for your service, while you are important to your customer. Doing it this way, your referrals will be much more effective.

You will end up getting and keeping more customers at a profit.
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