One of the things that should be factored in, when considering adopting a measurable and forecastable referral marketing plan is the behavioral profile of everyone in your organization. Every 'personality' has something to add to the company that wants to drive significant referral growth and the resulting growth in revenue.
Referrals are (should be) involved and effective at every step of the customer's buying journey...from discovering that you and your company exist to repeat buying, renewals and consistent referral generation. That is a big (BIG) spread of customer interactions and necessary team integration/collaborations. You don't have to have a 'select few' and/or everyone working every step of the process.
Here is how we work with clients to incorporate behavioral profiles into overall referral growth:
- Have a written referral marketing plan. I have touched on this many times in the past. If referrals are truly important to you (most of you say they are) and your company, you would have a written plan that is measurable, predictable and confidence inspiring. Btw, saying that your plan is to always ask for referrals doesn't count. That is not a strategy that is a habit.
- Have scientifically valid behavioral assessments conducted and then explained by a trained professional. We have used several different ones over the decades and are very pleased with our current one...very effective for small business and financial advisor firms. If you want to take a look at an example I would be glad to send you an example...just direct message me or give me a call.
- Detail out job expectations, to include behavior profile information, so that there is a clear expectation of what the role is and how that role should and could be conducted by a team member that truly enjoys filling it.
- Evaluate everyone on your team (this is 100% critical in small business and financial advisor organizations) as to where they are most comfortable and most effective working with the team to drive customer referrals and with customers/prospects. Everyone has a role to play...we just need to make sure they are going to be effective and comfortable in their role. Square pegs in round holes don't contribute to consistent and profitable referral results.
- Provide training and ongoing coaching (both group and 1-1) so that people are having their focus on referrals continually enhanced and to evaluate performance data to be able to make accurate observations about results and then tweak your systems to optimize those results going forward. Larger organizations will consult with a provider to set up the system and then do the coaching and training internally if they have the staff and culture to implement it. Smaller organizations will want to consider partnering with an outside vendor to be efficient and effective in designing the systems and then delivering the training.
Sound like too much? Let me ask you a question to help you 'turn off the noise': What is a referral worth to you and/or your company. We always get to this metric as soon as possible with prospective clients because it makes things very easy. In most cases when working with financial advisors, for example, the average value of an appointment generated by referral marketing is trending north of $35,000.00. All of the sudden, taking the time to actually systematize and streamline the referral process seems a whole lot more exciting.
If you want to get predictable referral results you need to treat it just like the rest of marketing: Systems, measurements, training and coaching is necessary if you really want to experience the power of referrals.
Sadly, there aren't enough folks out there experienced and willing to be accountable teaching and coaching these methods. I am proud to say that my company is completely dedicated to this type of work. We know referrals are incredible and we are willing to be held accountable for teaching the results based version of how to get more of them. Make sure, if you choose to get some help, that they are willing to be held accountable for results.