We all know how important it is to Follow Up as part of our Sales Activity. It’s not a secret that 80% of your prospects need 5 touch points to convert to a client. In fact, 45% of sales people don’t follow up after the initial sales meeting…I know…crazy!
But I’m not here to talk about this type of follow up. I want to spend a bit of time explaining why it’s important to follow up on your referral giving activity.
When was the last time you deliberately followed up on a referral you passed. In fact, have you ever called to see if the person needing help ever got their needs met?
There are 3 people in the referral process.
You, the Referrer: The conduit between two people. Someone who needs help and someone who can help.
Referred: The person you know, who needs help fixing something.
Referral Receiver: The person who can help. You know them also. (You should know them well if you are going to risk your reputation referring them)
So here is how if usually works…you pass referral to receiver…You expect the receiver to call you in a few days to thank you and tell you how they got on…but nothing happens! There is no further follow up to see what the outcome was for either party. Did the receiver win business? Did your contacts problem get fixed?
What you must understand is that you know both parties in the referral process, which means your reputation is hanging in the balance as part of the introduction. The Referred trusts you with your recommendations on who can fix their issue and I think it’s safe to say that their experience with this person will positively or negatively affect your reputation.
It’s also true for the referral receiver…was the referred a good client for them? What was the experience like? Did they actually make the call to connect? (it’s funny because in business, we all think that everyone else knows exactly who our perfect clients are. More on this in another blog). Maybe you passed a poor referral in the eyes of the receiver, and they may not tell you…only to take you off the Christmas card list.
You see the person with the most to loose is you…the Referrer. You know both parties in the process and your reputation is in the hands of both. The referred and the receiver don’t know each other so there is no reputation lost there if nothing happens…but it still affects you.
This is the number one reason to follow up on all referral activity.
There are other reasons obviously like.
- Deepening a relationship.
- Making someone look good.
- Helping the receiver with the sale process.
- If it was a mutual client, maybe helping you with future sales.
- …the list goes on. But the most important is to protect your reputation.
It’s easy to follow up. As long as you set out a process to do so you won’t go wrong. Next time you pass a referral put a notification in your phone for 2 days’ time to call both parties and ask them how they got on. Easy to do, Easy not to do too.