In last weeks post, I told you how companies with formalized referral programs experience 86% more revenue growth, when compared to the rest.
But that is not all there is to the story…
When referral TOOLS are used... companies are 3x more likely to accelerate referral generation and conversion. In other words, having a system to get referrals requires the right software to make it manageable. Yet only 22% have such TOOLS in place to effectively scale their referrals...and you might be thinking, well, what TOOLS are they even talking about?
I’m going to tell you how using the RIGHT automation tools is THE KEY to making sure you get the best results, and lots of new referrals.
Check out the video to see what I mean.
(Here’s a link to the masterclass I mention in the training)
Why referrals are important…
But let’s think about that stat again..
If you systematize your referral process, and use SOFTWARE to do it...you are 3X more likely to succeed.
The numbers back me up…
There’s no doubt, referrals are the cream of the crop. And, you need a systematic process to generate them consistently.
Until now, that was really difficult to do.
But now, with the Connect 365 system, it is really easy to generate referrals. You just have to spend a little time setting it up, and then the rest happens on autopilot.
Today, in part 3, I am going to tell you a bit more about the system. At a high-level, what we are doing is using online strategies to get more referrals. Can you integrate this with what you are doing offline?
But for our purposes, I’m going to keep us focused online.
This is how you can get a lot more leverage and even greater results.
How I Scaled My Referral Program to Make $13 Million
I know the power of referrals firsthand. I was able to keep my lights on that first year because of the rolodex I built up using referral marketing.
Then I refined my systems and got even better results.
The first significant referral deal I did was with a guy named Bryan Kruzberger. He introduced me to some of his contacts, and we did around $5,000 in sales from these initial introductions.
At the time, that was a lot to me. But more importantly, I realized this was something I could keep doing.
Fast forward to today, and that initial light bulb moment has led me to building referral relationships with over one hundred of the top players in our industry… and the referrals they have sent me, have resulted in over $13M in sales.
The Proven 3 Step Playbook for Referral Success
Based on my success, and my work with thousands of businesses from around the world, I’ve discovered the 3 step playbook to success with referrals.
Sending a personal message once a month. Of course, this could be a phone call, or stopping by their office,but that’s not scalable or efficient. What I’ve helped my clients do is put in place a system to send a PERSONAL email, once a month.
Publishing daily updates on Facebook and LinkedIn. This helps them to build their authority and reputation as a “top of mind” expert.
Now, I know a few of you are probably thinking…”Josh, that sounds like a lot of work!”
I’m going to show you how to automate most of the heavy lifting, so it doesn't take hardly any time at all.
How to Create a Messaging Campaign That Gets Results
In the past two posts, we talked about:
The process for identifying your ideal referral partners.
How to quantify how much business you can expect to get out of this system
A simple process for finding and connecting with your Top 100 referral partners, and then how to invite them to a conversation.
How to structure your first call with these referral partners, so that they are incentivized to send you leads and referrals, and also so that they give you permission to check in with them each month.
Now that we’ve done that, let’s talk about the personal email campaign, which is how we will deliver on this monthly check-in that your referral partners are now expecting.
You might be thinking, “Why not just plug all these new referral partners into Mailchimp or Contact or Infusionsoft?”
Well, emails that come from these systems are seen as marketing emails. They’re obviously not personal. So people don’t open them and they don’t respond to them. If you have a massive list, there’s no other choice.
But with a small curated list of your top referral partners, you need to send personal emails.
Now, of course, you can’t spend all day writing emails, which is why you need to use Connect 365 to automate it.
One of our clients John McAlister has been implementing this exact process, and he wrote me recently to tell me how it’s going.
John knows that if you stay in front of people...eventually they’ll come to you.
This system works so well because these emails come across looking like their personal...like you wrote them 1-on-1.
These emails look like the emails you would write to a friend.
Here’s an example:
As you can see, it looks exactly like you would type up an email and send it manually. Except that this system allows you to send these messages in bulk, to all of your referral partners at once.
It’s a huge time saver.
And, it gets massive open and reply rates that result in a lot of leads and clients.
Using the software, you can have long term campaigns set up, so that if you’d like, you can have months and months of messages all queued up and ready to go.
There are also templates for all of these scripts and emails, so you can tweak them to customize for your business, and be up and running very quickly.
Now, there are a few keys to making sure your emails go over well.
Keep your emails informal. Don’t use marketing jargon.
You want to email to sound like a “real email” not a sales pitch. Here’s an example of a great email to send as part of this campaign:
The second sentence can vary. Maybe you don’t send a case study, maybe it’s a new blog post on your site. Maybe it’s a link to a news article on your local market.
There are lots of ways to approach it.
Of course, not every month’s email needs to be exactly like this.
The next one is even more simple, and could look like this:
It is that easy to stay in front of people.
There are a number of templates inside Connect 365 that allow you to get up and running quickly, with tons of ideas for ongoing messaging sequences. So you’ll never run out of things to say.
Here’s an example of how this might look over the course of 12 months with different types of messages sprinkled in each month.. Sometimes, you can even be a bit more direct about asking for referrals, but you don’t want to overdo it.
This is akin to the virtual version of stopping by somebody’s office once a month.
It reminds me of a salesperson I got to know back in the day when I worked for a construction company. There was a flooring contractor named Mark who would come by our office every few weeks. He would just show up, and walk around the office introducing himself to people and telling jokes.
At first it was a bit goofy, but over time he became a fixture in the office. And within a few months, we were sending him all of our business. Considering that we had never done business with this company before, that’s really saying something.
Using a tool like Connect 365, you can achieve the same thing with personal email check-ins, but you can do it in a fraction of the time, without having to show up at somebody’s office every month.
Staying top of mind with your referral network
Sending a personal email each month...this by itself will put you light years ahead...but if you really want to guarantee that your referral partners QUICKLY come to view you as a leading expert and start sending you referrals…. we need to take it one step further.
What if you could keep your content in front of your prospects every day, instead of just monthly, in a non-pushy, helpful way?
One of the best places to do this is on LinkedIn and Facebook, using your personal LinkedIn profile and your Facebook business page. You’re going to be connecting to everybody in your referral network on LinkedIn.
What if you had a hands-off way to post daily status updates there...so that all of these people would be seeing your stuff VERY regularly?
Considering that over 70% of B2B purchase decision makers use social media to help them decide who to award their business, it's pretty clear how important this component is.
People are trained these days, on LinkedIn and Facebook,to be perfectly fine with seeing your stuff every day in these places…
...but most people don’t do it because it’s too much work.
Well, with the Connect 365 system, we’ve added on a new feature we call EMPHATIC where we take care of this for you. I’ll tell you more about the software and how we’ll do it all for you, including creating your content, on the upcoming masterclass, but for today let’s just focus on how the strategy works.
You must post at least every other day on Facebook and LinkedIn. So that between the two, you’ve got something going out every day. A lot of our clients choose to go 100% on LinkedIn...but that’s up to you.
People will see this content, and they won’t tune you out...because it’s relevant to them, and not just a constant sales pitch. If you talk about yourself all the time, it gets old. Don’t do that. 45% of consumers will unfollow a brand if their activity is dominated by self-promotion...so you have to do it right.
The content we put together for you will be a mix of resources that your contacts will find valuable, sprinkled in with things about your business so that we can demonstrate your expertise, which is important.
Now, think about the time it would take you to write an update every day and post it. Most people just don’t keep up with it, and it quickly falls by the wayside. That’s why we designed this service and software, to do it for you.
It’s so important...you really need to be doing this, to make sure your referral system is getting the best results. Without it, your entire marketing and sales strategy will be less effective.
Countless studies have shown that businesses who are active on social media outpace their competitors by a wide margin.
It’s not even a question. Take one of our clients John Weaver. He’s a commercial lender, and he said…
Consistent social media gives you so much massive top-of-mind awareness….
It positions you as a leading expert in your space….
and it gives all of your connections and referral partners the confidence to refer you to their clients.
That’s why it works, and let me tell you...when you put this in place, it’s a complete game changer.