When people refer you to someone, what they are saying is, “I like the way you do business and am willing to put my reputation on the line for you.”
If you are not getting referrals right now, it’s either because (a) you don’t have a strategy that you’re following or (b) people aren’t comfortable lending you their reputations.
Here’s a game plan that addresses both situations and will give you a 1-in-3 return. Follow this process and, for every three sales you make to a walk-in, you will get one additional sale from a referral. If your goal this year is 20 sales, you’ll get 27. The key to its success is understanding the importance of looking after your existing buyers.
Step 1: Weekly or biweekly, send or e-mail your buyers a few photos of their new home while it’s in different phases of construction.
Step 2: Take your buyers lunch on move-in day and give them a subscription to the local newspaper.
Step 3: Send an anniversary card every year on the date of their purchase.
Step 4: Depending upon their religious affiliation, mail them a traditional or nontraditional card at Christmas time.
Step 5: Throughout the year, call or visit them and casually ask if they know of any relatives, friends and colleagues who are thinking about buying a home.
Step 6: Keep an up-to-date journal of referrals, with notations about their preferences and housing requirements, along with personal notations from you.
Step 7: Call the referrals. Explain your customer-care commitment and what you can offer them.
Step 8: Schedule an appointment. Anticipate cancellations so always have a back-up plan.
Step 9: Be punctual, polite, passionate, principled and purposeful. Show up on time. Say please and thank-you. Have enthusiasm about your homes and community. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Work your plan.
In his book “How to Master the Art of Selling,” author Tom Hopkins said, “Because I understood that building relationships is what selling is all about, I set a goal to send ten thank-you notes every day. Guess what happened? By the end of my third year in sales, my business was 100% referrals.”