The value of being referred
I often reflect about my business after being in the Talent Acquisition and Development business for over 11 years now. When I do this reflection the first thing that always comes to mind is that the overwhelming majority of my customers come from referrals. These referrals come either from those who have been clients before or those who know me well and feel confident enough to refer their friends to our firm. My point for today is to show that this not only works for my firm, but it works for just about any firm. Let me share a few examples based on research for you to consider.
Christophe Van den Bulte of the Wharton School wrote an article for Forbes several years ago that provided research that shows that clients who come from a referral stay longer and are also more profitable than other clients. Having clients who are longer-term clients also allows any firm to get to know the client better and to provide better, more insightful service, to them.
The Wall Street Journal published an article in 2013 sharing the virtues of client referrals. This article gives some very specific ideas about generating referrals such as these:
- Be selective in who you ask for referrals
- Give them material they can use to share with potential referrals
- Be confident in your ability to ask for the referral; develop a "scarcity mentality" so that others find you to be a scarce resource
The bottom line is this; getting a referral is far and away a much better way to get a client than trying to obtain clients through the traditional cold call, either in person, via phone or through e-mail marketing.
Having a friend or client use their influence and trust to advance your cause is a blessing that comes after earning their trust and doing good work.
I have often heard that you are interviewing for your next job every day. This has never been so true as when you apply this to the process of getting a client referral.
I hope you interview well today.