In the last posting on referral marketing, I ended with the question of what actions you should take when you receive a referral. Following up on that, the first thing to do is start a log to track referral sources. It can be a simple list or spreadsheet with name of the person making the referral, the name of the person referred, the date of the initial contact, the type of case, and the fee related to the case. This should be all you need to determine the return you are earning from your referral system. You should also enter rewards and referrals that you make to others. This will help you to administer the system effectively.
A sample spreadsheet that includes these elements on two pages in the same workbook is available at ASTPS.org. You may retrieve an electronic version of it in the ASTPS members’ section. It is saved in both the older (.xls) and the newer (.xlsx) formats.
Referrals from professionals are available just for the asking. They often refer multiple clients. The only reluctance professionals have is the fear that their client might have a bad experience because of their referral. Your obligation is to assure this never happens. You must treat referrals like they are your most valued client.
Referred client are likely to hire you because they are pre-sold. The professional referring them has transferred the trust in him to trust in you. This took no-effort and no-cost by you – generally, it all happened before you even met the client.
Differences in typical referral sources will be the subject of part 2 of this post.