We wanted to bring this back to mind from 2011, as you want to get more referrals in 2015!!!
by Tiffanie Kellog & Julie Arndt
In a recent Certified Networker Program module, from the Referral Institute, we were talking about how you can break your network down into 3 categories, Information, Support, and Referral. Within your referral network, you can receive referrals from eight subcategories, one being your staff. I then had the epiphany (or e-tiffanie, as William Mellas is trying to coin) that I should get with one of the participants, Julie Arndt from Minuteman Press, and we can co-author an article on how to maximize your staff to help you grow your business.
A key consideration in this conversation will be to expand your thinking so that all of your employees could potentially pass you business, not limiting yourself just to the sales staff. You could encourage all your staff to be on the lookout for new clients, including your receptionist, “widget” makers & service people, delivery staff, and the list could go on and on. Why would the employees be motivated to help grow the business? The continued success of the company, and the added value they bring to their role to the organization, ensures a hopeful future for everyone.
Finally, be sure to recognize and reward your staff for bringing you business!
There are a few crucial points to follow when creating referral sources from our staff. First, you are going to need to arm your staff with a little bit of education regarding your business, including:
- who is an ideal client and who is your target market
- key phrases to listen for and perhaps a list of clues to look for that indicate a person may need your product or service
- how to create the referral and how to bring the business into the office
A very important part of this staff training will be to encourage your staff to horn toot (one of the 18 Tactics to Motivate your Referral Sources from the Certified Networker Program) ; horn tooting is when you reply to “How are you doing?” with a response that shares positive things happening within the work place.
The next step in creating your staff as referral sources is to arm them with the right collateral material. Collateral material should give your staff a sense of pride in what you do as well as identify their role within the team.
Julie recommends when picking out business cards for the entire staff:
- Keep your branding consistent!
- Keep it simple, easy to read
- On the card:
- Employee’s name & title
- Company’s website & social media information
- The staff member’s direct contact information, including a personalized email instead of “info@____.com”
- The basic product/services/benefits offered by your company, as your staff may not be as fluent in the language of your business
How have you enrolled your staff in this team culture of success? Please share with us your experiences!