People hire more companies through Google than they do through referrals. A lot more! It is so much more it would appear that referral marketing could soon be a thing of the past. People go do Google in the droves and the reason for it; people don’t know enough professions. Consumers are forced to go to Google and hire a total stranger that they do not know nor do they trust because they do not know someone personally in that field of expertise.
The reason referral marketing will always be around is the same reason it has always been around, people want to do business with people they know and trust or they at least want to be referred to someone that is known and trusted by someone they know and trust. (Key words; know and trust)
I had a customer that attended my BNI meeting for the sole purpose of meeting contractors. She was a property manager for the State and had a waiting list of customers a mile long. She did not need referrals to customers she need referrals to business professionals that could meet her needs.
During the “I have portion” of our meeting she stood up and said “I am so glad Robert invited me to meet you, I hate going to Google to find a contractor.” My adult son and a member of our chapter was sitting next to me and elbowed me when she said that, and then he whispered to me “she found us on Google.”
She had found us on Google and liked us but she would rather meet someone in person and develop a trust in them and then hire them. I gave her a lot of referrals to my chapter members and that was really the way she preferred to do business.
As a self-proclaimed referral marketing expert, I have two goals. My first goal is to meet as many business professionals as possible that are experts in their field so I can refer my customers and contacts to them. I feel the more experts I know, the more I can help people. My second goal is to meet as many contacts as I can, get engaged with them and ask them a series of questions to determine their needs and then refer them to my referral partners.
I ask things like “how are you doing, what are some of your challenges, what are your goals, I ask about their kids, hobbies, interests, what work are they in and many more. I am sincerely interested in them and want to help them in any way that I can. I go out of my way to meet new people, knowing I will be able to give them a referral.
There are 2 definitions to 2 words that motivate me on my goals. The first definition is the meaning of the word referral, which means; someone (that’s me) who introduces someone (that’s my contact) to an expert in their field (that’s my referral partner.) The second definition that motivates me to give referrals is my definition of “Givers Gain.” Gives Gain to me means that I create a 3 way-win situation. My customer or contact wins because they have their needs met in a way I could not do except through the power of a referral. My referral partner wins, because they have a new client that they would not have had without my referral. I win because I have 2 people that absolutely love me and want to send me referrals!