I want you to find more customers for your clothing, shoes, and
The more customers you have, the more you will sell, and hopefully
the more you will be able to reorder.
Before you start reading, just a quick note that I have received
a new wholesale closeout shipment this week,
please visit my website, or my warehouse in person.
The following tips can produce a strong flow of referrals for your
home based business or retail store.
Please read this entire email, since I am very confident that it can
help you increase your customer base.
Tip # 1
Discipline Yourself to a Routine of 'Asking'
Here's something profound. The reason most of us do not get
referrals on a routine basis is because we do not ask for them on a
routine basis. Well, it's almost that simple. What would be the
upside on your year-end W-2 if you asked for 2 referrals from each
of your new customers? Let's say you average 6 sales per month.
That would be 12 referrals per month or 144 per year.
Conservatively, you close half of those warm leads. Multiply 72 by
your average revenue per sale. Then calculate your commission
percentage off the total revenue sold. Now ask yourself if you can
afford not to ask for referrals on a routine basis.
Tip # 2
Develop a process to 'Set the Stage'
Asking for a referral is one thing, but how many times do you
actually get one? Execute a Powerful Routine after you sign up a
new customer, and request permission for 3 additional minutes to
get their professional feedback. Ask a series of questions
soliciting their opinion on ways you can be more effective with
your sales process, from initial contact to point of sale, with
individuals in the same industry and parallel titles. You are now
setting the stage for your future success. Over time, your contacts
will give you a free 'Masters Degree.' Remember to 'Pack your bags,
but set the stage.'
Tip # 3
Communicate to a "Win-Win" Agreement
Be honest and sincere in reference to the importance of referrals
for running your business effectively. Tell your story. If you have
a high referral ratio let them know that and why it is high.
Customers respect a good businessperson more than a good
salesperson. Try to pick a time when the contact would feel
comfortable giving a referral to help your business. That may not
be at the point of sale, but upon service implementation or some
time in the future when you have proved you delivered what you
promised. The important point is you must define with the contact
when it can happen or what criteria need to be met for it to happen.
Tip # 4
Follow through in order to receive a consistently high ratio of
You may not ask for a referral until (a) the service has been
implemented and (b) the customer is satisfied. But as described in
Tip #3, you want to minimally set a referral foundation at the
point of sale and receive a commitment to when you'll receive one.
Now, this is very important. Always write in your day timer in
front of the contact when the expectation is set, and let them know
you are making note of it. Treat it like an appointment for your
future success. It's found business and will afford you a higher
closing ratio, shorter sales cycle and most importantly, more
referrals! So, follow-up and get it!
Tip # 5
Develop a Referral Program
Be creative. Give up some money. Maybe it's a gift certificate to a
local restaurant (hopefully a customer) or a graduated percent off
of their next invoice. An entrepreneurial mind will come up with a
few flexible programs that fit your level of buyer. After all,
you're not putting anything out until the referral is sold. The old
saying, "money makes money" is still true. Beside the tax right off
(check with your accountant), contacts absolutely enjoy getting a
little something. Measure the ROI and the benefit will be evident.
Tip # 6
Become the Messenger
Be sure to give the referral gifts out promptly on sold referrals.
Deliver it in person, since it also serves as an excellent time to
prime the pump for additional referrals. Don't underestimate the
power of this simple discipline. I have experienced 'millionaires'
who reopened their black books after receiving $20 dollar gift
certificates. After all, it's not the amount but the gesture. And
because you are spending your valuable time being the messenger,
you will without a doubt focus on receiving one or two more warm
Tip # 7
Promote a Grass Roots Chamber Program
Offer local Chambers a deal they can not refuse. Chambers want to
offer their membership a better deal, one that their members can
not receive from regular street pricing. They are open to donations
to help their chamber and are also motivated to grow their
membership. Instead of offering a residual based off of sales,
offer to bring them in a certain number of new members each month.
After all, a certain percentage of businesses you call on will not
be members, and if you can show them a return on their investment,
they will certainly join the Chamber to receive it. By helping
others you will see your referral ratio reach the sky!
Tip # 8
Identify Potential 'Bird Dogs'
'Bird dogs' are used by hunters to point and fetch game birds for
their owners. In sales, a 'bird dog' is someone who has multiple
relationships with your potential customers and they are motivated
to routinely feed you contacts for your marketing efforts. Research
potential business people that may fit into this profile, and take
them out to lunch. Explain your referral program and how it could
supplement their core business revenue stream. For potential 'Big
Hitters' be prepared to customize your referral program to align
with their motivations. Treat them like gold and they will open up
Tip # 9
'Get Married' to a Collaboration Partner
There are companies that provide products or services in your
'value chain' but do not compete directly with your product or
service. Those wholesale market companies and the professional individuals that sell
for them should be a point of concentration for you to identify and
contact for strategies of collaboration. I refer to this
relationship as "Natural Marriages." Contact 3 sales professionals
that seem to indicate a 'natural marriage' for you and them.
Outline what's in it for them. Then ask them what you could
reasonably expect over time.
Tip # 10
Join or Start a Lead Group
You have to eat lunch, right? So why not join or consider
developing a Lead Group of entrepreneurial individuals who are
motivated to get together twice a month to share leads. Find
individuals who are accountable to bringing in the minimum amount
of leads each meeting as outlined in your group's business rules.
Make sure every member is covered by the 80-20 rule, getting 80% of
their leads from 20% of the members. And don't be shy about
charging a quarterly membership fee. That way, members have some
'skin' in the game. Imagine a lead group that was comprised of
wholesale buyers and sellers.