Thought Leader

6 Ways to Drive Massive Referrals

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John Ruhlin, the founder and CEO of the Ruhlin Group, a North Canton, Ohio based firm that specialises in high-level gifting plans to build relationships and acquire new clients tells you not to plead, bribe or send chintzy gift cards!

Instead, focus on the little things people appreciate. Build brand equity using these six best practices:

1. Actually surprise and delight

“Surprise and delight” is one of the most overused phrases in marketing, but it works. To truly surprise a client, you can’t just meet expectations; you have to exceed them.

2. Realise that ‘it’s not about you’

When working with affluent clients, understand the psychology behind the referrals they give. They’re not doing it for some kind of kickback: They simply believe that your services would be useful to their friends or families.

3. Focus on the inner circle

Clients aren’t islands; they have significant others and families and friends. These inner circles have more influence on your clients than you could ever hope to have. The same applies to assistants. They may not be gatekeepers for referrals, but they’re definitely game-changers.

4. Stop asking for referrals

If you need to beg for a referral, do you really deserve one? People naturally refer businesses they’ve had good experiences with. Focus on the experience, not the presentation.

5. Don’t devalue the deed

Transactional gestures cause recipients to subconsciously add things up, making gifts feel unbalanced. Even a gift card to a nice restaurant feels like a bribe if you’re a financial advisor earning a 1 percent management fee. Instead, send a genuine handwritten thank-you note, and acknowledge the referral.

6. Become an expert

When you yourself reach expert status, the barriers start to drop. Speaking at any event obviously brings in referrals and leads, but it also boosts credibility.

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Posted by Paul Whalley
Paul Whalley is a Professional Engineer with an MBA and a post master’s certificate in Leadership Coaching. He is a certified Management Consultant and Master Coach and is accredited with the Institute for Independent Business as well as being a Founders Circle member of the John Maxwell Team of trainers, speakers and coaches. He has over twenty five years of corporate global leadership experience and currently runs a professional services company focusing on strategy, change management, and leadership. He is a co-developer of the PowerUp range of coaching and consulting business solutions and can be contacted at pwhalley@profweb.co.za.

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