Nowadays, referrals are one the most ideal and cost effective ways to generate income compared to other sources of generating leads such as advertising and marketing. Although marketing brings in a larger volume, but it takes the more time to close and/or convert to order. On the other hand, referrals are much easier to work on as they provide a direct contact to a prospect. Having said that there are different levels of referrals and each level determines the effort going in to its conversion:
Level 1 – Name and Number of contact person: This kind of referral is like a cold call where you do not know who the person on the other end is and what his/her requirements are. This kind of referrals would work with aggressive sales people, however for others it won’t work.
Level 2 – Literature and Business card of the contact person: With this referral there is clarity on what the other party offers, however it is still more similar to a cold call with the contact person’s requirements are not known. Again this would work with Aggressive sales people; however it won’t be the ideal way of referring for others.
Level 3 – Contact and mention that you have been referred by: This kind of referral is on the assumption that the contact person holds a high regard for the referring party which may not necessarily be the case. There is a higher chance of discredit if the requirements are not known. Without clear requirements shared and the need known this kind of referral would entice the go-getters only.
Level 4 – Pass on letter of recommendation along with contact details: This adds to the credibility of the contact person and establishes a rapport before contact. This kind of referral would allow the referred person more of a chance to contact, but the commendation may not be in direct relation to what the requirement may be and would not give the right context.
Level 5 – Pass on Letter of recommendation along with an immediate phone call connection: Connection over the phone may work with some however this may catch most off guard. Though this can work for connecting and then following-up later, however this may not land the best of impressions as compared to being prepared before a call. However, this would be much more effective than all the previous referral modes.
Level 6 – Qualify and arrange a phone call: Qualification of a referral is the key. Understanding the requirement, taking consent and then passing the referral is the ideal kind of referral that most if not all would work with and would like to have been passed.
Level 7 – Qualify and arrange a meeting: This stands as much better category than the preceding level for the reason that this would allow the referred party to meet the referral in person which statistically gives you the higher chance of closing a deal.
Level 8 – Qualify and do a 3 way meeting: What could be better than the referring party going along with you to do the meeting. This gives a much higher chance of deal closure.
Level 9 – Explain the product and service to the contact person: An extended sales force that does the sale for you and perhaps explain your product and offering and all you have to do is meet and take cheque. A kind of referral that most adore!
Level 10 – Closed deal referred: Everyone loves this referral where you receive the payment and start executing. This kind of referral takes in a lot of training.
So, think about the referrals you give to your fellow members: could you do a little more work before passing the referral? Time and effort ensure quality referrals and increased closed business for your members.