Referrals hit home with a lot of people, but others shy away from the topic altogether. It is a foreign concept to some professional salespeople. But in reality, we all count on interpersonal relationships to get our job done, no matter what we do for a living. We may just not call it a REFERRAL.
Professional referrals are based on serious, sound relationships. Professionals, in the real estate business or any business, refer to people they like, they trust, they feel are competent, and they believe are successful. So…take care of the people who take care of you…an extension of the golden rule.
There’s probably no end to the list of possible mistakes, but here’s a list that will quickly kill a referral pipeline. In random order, here are things that people really hate (and what you can do to avoid the problem):
- Not following up on referred prospects promptly. Wherever possible, accommodate the referred prospect as soon as possible, and let the referral source know what transpires.
- Failing to keep the referring colleague informed. Let the referring business know that the prospect meeting has been scheduled, that you appreciate the referral, and that you will continue to communicate about what follows.
- Telling the contact that the previous advice was wrong. Absolutely no one likes to be told they were wrong. If your recommendation is different from what your referral source (or prospect) may be expecting, find a diplomatic way to communicate this to them both.
- Referring the prospect on to another colleague without consulting the original referring source. When the best course for the prospect is to talk to a different type of specialist, go back and inform your referral source. Good diplomacy doesn’t take long and has many fringe benefits.
- Being unavailable when something goes wrong. The REALTOR® who quietly fades away without recommendations on a next course of action leaves a bad impression with the client and the referral source. Worse, it slams the door on future referrals.
- Picking and choosing which referrals to take. Need I say more?
By the way, you’ll know when people stop referring. You will not get an email or fireworks ending a referral relationship. They just quietly stop referring. You may not even know what happened (or failed to happen). And worse, if a colleague stops referring, they probably will NOT tell you, but they may tell their friends.
If any of this sounds familiar, either on the giving or getting end of the referral string, it’s worth your time to get a refresher of ideas for building a quality professional referral system. The Referral Expo was created to give you ten world-class insights to how to build and grow referrals. You can learn more at www.referralexpo.org.