Do You Have a Referral Mindset?

We All Want Referrals

Referrals are an efficient way to gain new clients.  This is not a new concept.

We’ve all read articles and books about the benefits of referrals and have probably spent some time considering how to make our businesses more referable.

A steady stream of referrals coming in is great for business.

In an effort to get more referrals many of us have incorporated a strategy of asking for them at the end of our sales cycles.

We all want referrals.  But working toward getting more referrals is not the same as having a referral mindset.

The Referral Mindset

To have a referral mindset is to think about the flow of referrals in more than one direction.

We can evaluate whether or not we have a referral mindset by asking ourselves a few questions.

When was the last time I asked for a referral?

When was the last time I gave a referral?

If the number of referrals we’ve asked for exceeds the number we’ve given then we probably don’t have a referral mindset.

I said “probably” because when it comes to referrals and a referral mindset, quality is far more important than quantity.

Quality Over Quantity

The value of a referral is that it reduces the friction of the sale.

It is a far more efficient way of gaining new customers because the likelihood of converting a “warm” prospect–one that has been referred by someone they trust–is much higher than converting a “cold” prospect.

And the higher the quality of the referral–as measured by the likelihood that they will be converted to a client–the better.

It’s better to receive a few quality referrals than many low quality ones.

But that speaks again to what we want.

A referral mindset means thinking about others and applying what we want with what we offer. So, if we are giving fewer referrals than we receive but the referrals we give are high quality referrals, we probably have a referral mindset.

Conversely, if we give more referrals than we get but those referrals are not likely to purchase, we’re on our way to developing a referral mindset.  We just need to take our thinking to the next level by offering better quality referrals.

Giving and getting referrals during sales cycles (whether business to customer or business to business) are two components of the referral mindset but a referral mindset goes beyond the point of sale.

Having a referral mindset means thinking about referrals in a broad context.

The Broader Context of the Referral Mindset

If a business context is the only context under which we consider getting or giving referrals we’re missing great opportunities.

Opportunities to refer business to others abound.  They happen any time someone mentions a problem or need that can be solved by a business we know and trust.  We take advantage of the opportunity when we match those in need with those that can help.

Giving quality referrals regularly, and being able to do so in many different contexts, establishes us as well-connected experts.

Having a referral mindset helps us be seen as experts with a desire to help others connect with the right businesses to meet their needs.

A referral mindset is all about making connections. It’s B2B. It’s B2C. It’s about people and community.

When we have a referral mindset we will attract quality costumers that want to be associated with quality businesses.  

by Cristen Iris 2015

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