The Referral Business
We are all sales people, even if we don’t know it. We are always selling ourselves, whether it’s at home, work or playing a sport. Think about it, if you are going out, who decides where you are going or what you are doing? Who decides what team you are playing on or what position you are playing? Who decides what you are watching on TV? Someone is making a decision — who sold who and what was the outcome?
Once you have accepted that you are a sales person, then you must also understand that you are in the referral business.
Let’s face it, selling to someone who was referred or recommended to you by a happy customer is just so much more pleasant and it just feels good. It means we have done something right, it means that our customers trust us with their friends, co-workers and family. It means we now must continue to earn their respect and confidence by taking care of their referral.
So how does one increase their referrals? First, we must believe that we are in the referral business. In other words, we must manage referrals with as much care as we do typical prospects. We must understand the importance of our current members having the support of their friends, family and co-workers within our clubs. We must understand that every interaction can either build a customer up, or tear them down. We must understand the importance of wowing our customers with the best service.
We should also teach our members how to refer. We cannot assume that they know how to introduce us to their family, friends and co-workers, so make sure you help them by sharing how you would like to be introduced and what is the best way to get in contact with their referral. Then, make sure you always follow up. Do what you say you are going to do and then do more.
Once we realize that we must give in order to receive — we will then see the fruits of our labor with more referral-based sales.
Karen Coley-Cannon is the membership advisor and corporate specialist at Gainesville Health and Fitness. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.