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You Too Can Be a Referral Machine

Jan. 19, 2022
I have found that when I ask customers to refer me and I am referrable, they may actually do it.

Referred leads have the highest closing and the highest average sale. What would life be like if you could increase your closing percentage by 5 percent? 10 percent? If you could increase your average sale by $1000 would that make a difference in your life? Having more referred leads is the answer.

In the old days we used to talk with our neighbors over the fence. When we needed help we asked friends, family and neighbors who to call. Today we all go to the interweb to seek out who Google recommends. There is no personalization anymore. And, your customers will not talk about you unless you ask them to. People assume everyone will get the answers they need from Google so why tell others how wonderful you were? They should find out for themselves, right?

I have found that when I ask customers to refer me and I am referrable, they may actually do it. You have to talk about the fact that you have happy customers who have referred you. This lets them know that it would be okay for them to refer you too.   

Tell Your Story

While you explain how you install equipment, you want them to understand that you do it in a manner that will make them thrilled with your company and your people. Tell them that you will earn their referrals and they are going to want to tell everyone what a great job you did. Each time you get a chance to brag about how your installers do things better or different than all the other companies they could choose, talk about how  people like to brag about how their system is better. Give them little ideas to talk about with their friends, family and neighbors like why it is important to seal up all the sheet metal connections to make sure the air circulates properly and saves money. Talk about how adjusting the blower speeds helps the system work properly and last longer not only making them more comfortable but also saving them money. Making sure the air conditioner has the exact amount of refrigerant also gives them better comfort and saves money. And most importantly, do all these things and more. Do the installation perfectly every time. Encourage and coach your installation techs how to do it right and expect no less.

Most installations done in North America are not done right. With most installations the customer is left with unsealed ductwork, fan speeds that were set at the factory, old gas shutoff valves and improper refrigerant amounts. You know what needs to be done to achieve a perfect install. Share that info with your installers, get them to agree that it is the right thing to do and then expect no less 100 percent of the time.

Be Intentional

Asking for referrals takes intention. It starts early and continues right through the end. Instead of asking “How did you hear about us?” try “Who referred you to us?” This lets them know that you are referred often and it will be okay for them to refer you too.

Next, as you talk about your company, your installation and your installers, say things like “You’re going to love your new system and I need you to be happy so you will tell everyone what a great job we did. I feed my family on referrals and I will make sure you will be thrilled with your new comfort system. I know I have not earned your referral yet, but I will. I guarantee it!”

When you visit the customer after the installation, take them a gift, thank them for their business and explain your referral program. You need to have a referral program. Give them something for talking about you. Some companies give $100 for every referral that sells. I know one company that pays an increasing percentage for each referral and after 10 referrals the customer will earn their entire investment back.

Come up with a catch phrase that you can use to remind customers that you need them to tell their friends and family about you. I like “I love referrals so don’t keep me a secret.” It’s a little corny but it’s memorable and you want them to remember you.

Getting referrals requires intention. If you want referrals, if you want to increase your income, you have to concentrate on not just making sure your customers know you need referrals but also that you will earn them and they will want to refer you every chance they get.

Mike Treas possesses experience in the contracting industry as a sales manager and comfort advisor for one of the largest and most well-respected residential heating and air conditioning contractors in the United States. He has personally worked with hundreds of contracting companies across North America conducting training and consulting in the areas of sales, sales management, business management, customer service and technician lead generation training. His background consists of 35 years in sales and sales management, bringing expertise, knowledge, techniques and strategies proven in the contracting industry to increase sales. He is a faculty member of Contractor University powered by EGIA.

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