Coaching Referrals Done the Right Way

Sometimes, as a bank sales manager, it might seem that every person on the team already knows the right way to ask for referrals. This is often not the case, however. Instead, a better option is to provide training and feedback on the best ways to get referrals. We’ll look at this in more depth in this article.

Build a List of Satisfied Clients

The first step is to have each employee make a list that might include five or ten of their most satisfied customers. They can consider those who have thanked them for their services in the past. They might think about those who have already referred them business. You should also have them add to the list when new things happen, so it’s continuously gaining new names and prospects for referrals in the future.

Introduce a Short Prospect List

Not every person is going to know how to find the right people to connect with. This takes practice and training. If someone is struggling, help them understand which prospects their contacts may know. Assist them in building a short list of candidates for each satisfied client, so they can better understand how the concept works.

Strategize About When to Ask for Referrals

Sometimes it might be a good idea to wait for a specific moment to bring up the referral process. However, in many cases, waiting can waste a lot of time. Instead, get your employees to schedule meetings with the people on their network list, specifically to discuss referrals. You might have this happen at a meal, just because this tends to be a relaxing environment where there are fewer interruptions and a better chance for real conversation.

Work on How to Ask for Referrals

Your employees may or may not have the knowledge needed to determine the best way to ask for the referral they are going after. What you can do is help to boost their confidence beforehand and ensure they go into things with an understanding of the process. You might coach them on how to position the referral as a favor. You also want to understand if there are any issues or problems in the background that might make the prospect less positive. Coach them on determining the amount of assistance they should ask for. Some might be happy to pick up the phone and talk to a prospect to get the ball rolling. Others might want to use a testimonial in writing or simply use their names when doing the calling.

Get a Commitment to Ask

Your bankers aren’t going to get referrals if they aren’t trying to do so. That’s why you need to ask them to make some calls or host some meetings to see how well the process works. You might have them set up a single call each week for a few months to ask for referrals. This gives them time to learn and realize the process works.

If you are looking for ways to boost referrals at your own bank or credit union, consider using FinancialRefer. You can find out more and sign up for a free demo here.

Best Practices for Generating Business Using Referrals

Getting referrals from current happy customers is one of the best ways to find new business in many different types of companies. Because of that, it’s important that you understand the referral process from back to front. You also need to establish techniques for requesting referrals, so you can increase business and also generate useful leads.

Why Referrals Work

Current customers who have already been a part of a sale and have an established relationship with your business already know what you offer and how your services or products meet certain needs.

In addition to that, customers often know someone else who has that exact same need. Consumer customers may have neighbors, family, or friends with a similar need. Business customers may know vendors, customers, or competitors with the need. This is to say that customers can help when it comes to prospects who are pre-qualified.

People will want to help you if they trust you. That’s why establishing trust with customers is important. When that trust is solid, customers can be your best advocates.

Asking for Referrals

The absolute best time to ask for referrals is following a sale. The customer is going to be feeling good about you and your service. They aren’t viewing you so much as a salesperson as they’re viewing you as a resource who solved a problem.

You don’t have to beg or plead for referrals. All you need to do is offer insight into what you’re looking for in sales and customers. Explain that you want to find contacts with similar problems to the one that you just helped your customer with.

One thing to avoid is being too direct or blunt. Rather than asking straight out, “Do you know someone else who could use this product?”, you might phrase it as, “Is there anyone else in your family who might have the same challenge we’re addressing with this service?”

People are wary about providing referrals if they think you’re simply going to jump on them for a sale. However, if they think you’ll be a great resource for someone, they become more open to the idea.

There is typically a lot of networking in an industry, even when it comes to competitors. With an existing customer, you can better begin to understand what issues are facing those who are in the same business as the customer you’re speaking with. Feel free to ask questions and gain insight that will help you add referrals and customers down the line.

Following Sales and Referrals

After a customer has provided you with a referral, make sure you contact that referral. You should also send out a thank you note to the customer who suggested them. It’s polite and leads to a strengthened relationship

If you are looking for a way to keep track of your bank or credit union’s referrals, consider using FinancialRefer. You can find out more about the service here. There is even a free demo you can try!

Benefits of Business Networking

Proper business networking has the potential to help you in a range of ways. You can improve the way your business works by learning from others, and you can gain new clients and referrals. Networking is more than merely a good idea today; it is essential. The following are some of the biggest benefits that you and your business will get when you start to network.

Increased Business and Referrals

Naturally, this is one of the biggest and most tangible benefits of business networking. It is also the reason that most people decide to pursue networking in the first place. When you network, it has the potential to help you increase the business that you have through direct connection with other individuals and businesses, as well as through the referrals they can provide to you. Though this is one of the biggest advantages, but you will find some other benefits to networking.

Make New and Interesting Connections

When you are out there and meeting other people in various businesses, it presents you with new opportunities. You can find ways to market and cross promote with companies that you might not have considered before. You can find new opportunities, too, such as partnerships, speaking engagements, asset sales, and countless other potential benefits. Consider your business goals and try to find new opportunities out there that could help you to reach them.

Networking will also offer you some great connections with those that can help you out down the road when you need them. The people you connect with now could become very influential later. Networking with the right people can provide you with some great benefits now and in the future.

Advice from Peers

Having other people that you network with who are running their own businesses, marketing, or taking care of other business-related tasks can be beneficial as well. Together, you will have a wealth of knowledge that you can share with one another. You can get advice from someone who is fantastic at marketing, for example. You could give them advice on how to improve the workflow in their production line.

Help Others

Keep in mind that when you are networking, you are not only reaping the benefits that it can offer. You are also offering your advice and help to those who need it. In order for networking to work, everything needs to be reciprocal.

More Confidence

You will find that your confidence starts to increase the more you network, as well. Even though you might own a business, you might not be confident about networking when you first start. The more you do it though, the more skilled you will become and the more your confidence will soar and you will find that you become better at networking.

Business networking is one of the best ways for your business to grow and for you to become a better businessperson. As you can see, it offers you some fantastic benefits, so be sure to get started sooner rather than later.

10 Questions for a Networking Referral Power Team

A power team is a group people of complementary professions. They work with the same clients, but do not take business away from each other. Great examples of these are easily found in the real estate and wedding industries. A realtor, mortgage broker, building inspector, title agency, and a real estate attorney all service clients looking to purchase property. A wedding planner, photographer, and florist are among the many professions that cater to the bride-to-be. If these professions form a power team, when one person in the team gets business, he or she can refer the client to every other member in the team.

Read More: Entrepreneur 

Business Networking & Referral Relationships

Business Networking and building reciprocal referral relationships with others is hands down one of the fastest and most inexpensive ways to build your business. Fewer than 10% of people do it right. I wanted to share some tips on building a business network that is reciprocal and mutually beneficial, but also maintaining that network, and growing it successfully. I’ve broken it down into 6 steps.

  1. Seek complimentary service providers to your industry – but don’t assume.
  2. Ensure a like mindedness.
  3. Set out expectations and discuss goals.
  4. Monitor and track the business you exchange.
  5. Measure the results.
  6. Check yourself!

1. The easiest way to start off building your own personal referral network is to seek complimentary service providers to your industry.. As an example – if you work in web design, it might be prudent to try to meet someone who works in printing, graphic design, public relations, or advertising. If you work in real estate, maybe meeting a mortgage specialist, a home inspector, or a general contractor might be a good idea. A complimentary businesses to business network is more likely to mutually refer – however, assuming that just because you work in the same realm referrals will be flying between you is naive. The act of referring and exchanging leads is an attitude, and it isn’t guaranteed just because the business networking potential between two people is so high. There are just as many successful business networks made up of professionals in unrelated industries as there are in related ones.

2. Make sure you’re on the same page! Ensuring a like mindedness includes meeting someone who genuinely wants to be in a referral relationship as much as you do and is prepared to invest their time and energy into building it in the same way you are. Ask questions about your potential network partner’s business and their experience with previous referral relationships they may have been in. Try to get a gauge of their level of seriousness with business exchange. Determine if you have the same approach to looking for opportunities for your referral partners. Sensing whether someone’s interest is fleeting and short term is easy. You want people looking to establish long term relationships. Talking and doing is two separate things. More often than not, people will talk. Try to deal with business networking doers.

3. Put it all out on the table, speak frankly, and discuss your mutual expectations and goals. Do you have a sales target for your fiscal year that you want your referral relationship to help you hit? Articulate it. Do you expect a certain number of referrals? Let it be known. Are you looking for a certain kind of client? Say so.

4. I had the opportunity to speak with a Michael Hughes from Networking For Results recently, and something he said really resonated with me. Following through on the referrals and leads exchanged in a referral relationship is critically important. This is what builds trust. Many people put so much time into building these relationships that they let the actual business get away from them when they’re finally getting the referrals. You’re failing the big picture if you’ve successfully achieved steps 1-3, but then blow even one referral opportunity.  Never put yourself in a situation where you’ve forgotten to call a referral, let it drop off, or managed it poorly.

5. Measuring the results of the business you exchange with your referral partners is important. How many of the leads are you closing? What’s your batting average? What’s the typical transaction value if it’s successful from certain partners? Are your partners qualifying the referrals properly? Analyze and tweak how you can mutually be enhancing your relationships.

6. Make sure you’re doing everything you said you’d do, and that your attitude towards your network is consistent and in line with a genuinely reciprocal approach. If you’re not doing what you expect, change the behavior fast.

What Are the Benefits of Referral Marketing

In the last few years, many business professionals have realized the importance of networking and referrals. It’s worth mentioning that the tremendous power of referral marketing can be used by all kinds of entrepreneurs and business organizations. Both online and offline business can use professional referrals to generate more leads and increase sales. When it comes to professional networking, referrals seem to be the best choice. When a professional doctor or legal expert refers your practice to a customer, it makes sure the customer is more inclined to contact your business.

Bad practices in various industries have brought infamy to the term ‘referrals’. These days, the term generates thoughts about annoying and pesky emails or friends and relatives trying to recruit new people to use a service or product. However, when referral marketing is properly executed, it leads to better business and customer loyalty. Moreover, professional referrals are different from online referral marketing practices. In the former, a professional refers your business to another customer who might be interested in a similar service. For instance, a doctor may refer a pharmacist to a patient.

In simple terms, referral marketing makes use of word-of-mouth advertising, which is a very effective method of promotion and advertising. It’s important to understand that professional networking is a simple process. When a trusted professional refers your business to a customer, it builds more trust and respect in the mind of the customer for your business. This has a major impact on your conversion rate.

Key Benefits of Referral Marketing

It’s important to understand that professional referrals can reduce your sales cycle and sales expenses. With referrals, you don’t have to spend a lot of time calling disinterested and cold prospects. This way, your business can focus on interested customers and their influences.

Referral marketing can build a lot of satisfied customers. In fact, the cycle self perpetuates with satisfied customers referring your business to other interested customers. Thus, the process starts from professionals referring your business to customers, but continues with satisfied customers bringing in more leads. Professional networking via referral marketing can also increase your sales revenue.

In recent years, many business coaches and trainers have emphasized the importance of referral systems. According to most professionals, the closing ration for non-referred leads is just 10 percent as compared to 60% with referred leads.

There’s no doubt that networking via professional referrals allows you to save a lot of money on advertising. This is one of the most important benefits for business organizations. You should use the referral system wisely to establish a huge network, effective business to business interactions and customer loyalty.

Proper communication can benefit all the parties involved. You should set aside a marketing budget to kick start your efforts, including costs of discounts, freebies and many other incentives to encourage your customers to refer the products and services. When a professional refers a customer to your business, it’s better to return back the favor. This allows you to build rapport with other professionals in your industry and get more leads in future.

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