You want to stay in touch with your customers & referral sources/COIs (Centers of Influence) because you want to build and maintain relationships long-term. Referrals are the byproduct of the relationships we build. Here some tips on staying in touch.
Have a process to stay in touch
I know a realtor who dials the alphabet in his phone. He calls every contact once a quarter. Here is his simple process:
- January- Call everyone last name A- H
- February- Call everyone last name I- P
- March- Call everyone Q-Z
- April= repeat January. May= repeat Feb. etc…
He doesn’t ask for business. He checks in on your family, business goals, favorite sports teams, common interests, etc….and always asks: “How is your year coming?” He says most people will ask him back and he’ll respond with his goal on real estate sales for the year and quick market update. 2 minutes or less on him! This allows people to hear his message without him selling to his contacts. What a great approach!
There are plenty of tools help you keep track of customers. Google Alerts, SalesForce.com, HupSpot.com, Infusionsoft Mobile App, & Mention
Comment & offer to recommend
A lot of your customers & referral sources write blog posts and articles.
1- Subscribe to customer/Referral Source blogs, use alerts to find articles they write for other sites (or articles they’re quoted in), and leave thoughtful comments. They will greatly appreciate the support & it can make you more visible!
2- Many people feel uncomfortable asking others to complete recommendations on LinkedIN, Google, Facebook, Zillow, etc. Instead of waiting for someone to ask you do the opposite and jump in and write one for them. You will not only help them but also get the chance to describe your business and services when you detail how you and them previously worked together.
You won’t remember every detail….Keep great notes
At a minimum keep an informal database. Or add notes to your contact on your phone, outlook, iCloud, CRM system, etc.. Do whatever works for you, but you must have a system!
I can’t recommend enough the MacKay 66™ system. When we onboard new members to The Referrals Group our BIO/Marketing plan that we help members create is designed to share about 25-30 questions from the MacKay 66™. People do with business with people they know, like, & trust. Also, before you call or email, quickly scan your notes so you’re up to speed.
Link to MacKay 66™ questions Develop a process. Don’t rely on your memory.
Be a Connector
Focus on helping others. You want to be a connector or the person “who knows everyone!”
For your friends, family, & customers you should know:
1- Target Market
2- Business Goals
3- Top 3-5 professions that are COIs/Referral Sources
Your goal is to connect people where it makes sense. I like to reach out to both parties on the front end and ask a simple question: I have a person (insert name, industry) I’d like to introduce you to. Is there value in this type of introduction? If Yes, are you ok with me setting something up? Link to How to Set up COI Introductions
Start by making a list. Come up with 15+ names of people who you know that are more successful than you and some peers in non-competitive fields. Now reach out to them. Something like this usually works: “Hey _________. Can I buy you (lunch, a drink, coffee, etc) to pick your brain?
I’ve found most success when I focus on:
1- Here are 2-3 goals I have & my plan to hit them. Am I on track? What would you do differently?
2- Currently these are my 3 biggest challenges.
*I recommend send these 5-6 items in advance & come with a one page handout to share with them.
Advice seeking is a great referral generation strategy. When I started The Referrals Group I met with over 55 people in a 2 month period to ask advice. They became invested in me and wanted to see me succeed. Additionally, they were cheerleaders for our program and I wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without them.