How To get Business From Vendors and Affiliates
Building your referral base, building your referral culture, and speaking with your vendors and affiliates to build your referral business.
Previously Discussed: purging, growing, managing and cultivating your database, themes for reaching out to clients, what to say and how to ask for referrals.
Today’s Discussion: Building a referral culture and a referral mindset.
To begin, the close of the transaction is not the time to ask for the referral. The honeymoon phase is at the beginning of the transaction, the point in time when nothings gone wrong and they still love everything that’s going on, so that’s the most perfect time to ask. The clients don’t think anything of it. They don’t care when they’re asked for a referral. So why not maximize your referral opportunities at the first meeting, and ask them at that time.
“You know Mr. and Mrs. buyer, I’m so delighted to be working with you and I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure you’re thrilled with my level of service because I love to build my business by working with past clients and their friends and family, so my goal is to make sure you’re 100% satisfied. As we’re talking about this, do you know of anyone today who could use my help? Perhaps even if they just need advice…”
Ask their permission to ask them again. And ask as you thank them at the end of the transaction, and when you call them every quarter- you will ask them for referral. You must do a stellar job for them so that they are excited to provide you with new business. You must go the extra mile and deliver outstanding service, and when you do, do not forget to ask for a referral.
Friends and Family
Adopt their friends and family into your database. Often times your clients will have someone with them at a showing or a final walk through, so ask those people if they’d like to be included in your information loop. As you close the transaction, let them know you’ll be staying in touch. Then put them on your quarterly mailing distribution list, and ask them who in their local circle they know that would like to receive your complimentary market update. Tell them that if they’ll give you their name and number, you’ll be sure to ask their permission before you connect.
Think About the Numbers
If you’re closing 50 deals per year and every client in the course of the transaction gives you 2 referrals, and every client in your database gives you at least one friend or family member, your circle/database would be that much bigger at the end of a 12 month period!
Vendors and Affiliates
If you’ve been working with your vendors for years, and you’ve ever gotten a referral, it’s a missed opportunity. How directly have you asked for those? We have a script in the Excelleum script book that you can download. Use the script to call vendors and affiliates to let them know that you’d like, and expect referrals from them. They’re like your business partners.
“You know Mr. Plumber, you and I have been working together for a long time and I’ve sent you a lot of referrals and you’ve always done a great job and I appreciate that. And yet I realized that I haven’t received any from you. I don’t believe I’ve asked you for them, so I’d like to ask you now to please send me perhaps one name per month of someone I should reach out to. Now I know that there are no guarantees that it’ll turn into a deal, and I understand that, but I’ll just appreciate your efforts.”
Maybe it’s someone they met out in their course of business, or a friend or family member. They may say that they work with other agents, so they really can’t give you all of their referrals. In that case, say “I completely understand that, so that’s why I’m only asking for one per month.”
Make sure your vendors and affiliates are in your database- all of their personal information should be present and readily accessible so that you can market to them just as you do the rest of your database. Also keep a list of all of your vendors and affiliates and on the first Monday of each month call them to remind them of their commitment to you. Keep a checklist to track and log what they give you. If, after a period of 90 days, they haven’t provided you with one name, perhaps its time to find another vendor who will try harder to work with you.
Think About the Numbers
If you have 12 good vendors and they each give you a name per month, multiply that and you’ll get 144 leads per year that you otherwise wouldn’t have! And if only 25% is valid, (36) and only 1/3 of that works with you, its still about 12 transactions you would not have otherwise had. It’s time for your vendors and affiliates to step up and help you, like you help them. Be sure you ask!