Hello 🙂  Today I want to talk to you about receiving referrals.  This is such an important topic!  And we actually had a question about this in our Coaching Success Club a couple of weeks ago about, “how do I create a referral program?”  So I’m going to tell you all about that, it’ll be super easy.  But before I do, I’m going to talk about why it’s important to have referrals.

Just imagine this.  You go into an enrollment conversation, get on the phone, and the person says, “I’m ready to hire you. When do we start?”  That’s what happens when a referral occurs.  People are sent to you and they’re already pre-qualified, predisposed to working with you.  In fact, I remember a couple of years ago I had someone referred to me.  She wanted to make a career change.  And I said to her, “well, I can refer you to a career coach.”  I was going to refer her out.  And she said, “Oh no, Karen, I want to work with you”.

Actually it worked out well.  She made a change in her career and got a really big bump up in pay within about nine months.  So coaching works no matter what J  But she would not be referred to anyone else because someone already referred her to me.  She wanted to work with me.  So what if you could have a whole group, a whole group of your ideal clients ready to work with you? …so that when you went into an enrollment conversation, they would say, “when do we start?”  That’s the basis of our conversation today.

There are three statistics that I want to share with you.  The first statistic is 73% of people who hired executive coaches said they did so by referral.  That’s from last year’s Sherpa study.  It’s very current information.  The thing about that is, I believe that it’s even harder to get hired into corporate.  Thus that number might be even higher for, say, life coaches or health coaches, relationship coaches by referral.  This is why I’m so excited about referrals.  The second statistic I want to share with you is that 3% percent, only 3% percent of people, are ready to buy at any given time.  So 3% percent of your ideal clients are ready to buy at any given time.  That’s not a huge percentage.  What that means is we’ve really got to be in front of them at the moment they’re ready to buy.  And the 3rd statistic that I want to share is that 7 contacts are what it takes, for statistically, for people to move forward.  So all of these statistics could be true or not for you, but I always like to look at statistics because they can help us with the probability that can help us go with the flow of what’s happening.

Now, let’s look at that in terms of creating a referral program for your business.  What do these numbers mean?  First of all, you want to find, I would say, 5 to 10 people that are “centers of influence” that can refer clients, your ideal clients.  So for instance, if you’re a health coach and you know the owner of a gym who has lots of people they’re getting healthy, that would be a great center of influence and someone who could refer to you.  If you’re a relationship coach, and there’s maybe a marriage counselor that when they finish with the counseling and the couple needs follow up, you could work with them.

Anyone in corporate that you know that could refer you into corporate would be a good center of influence.  Think about who you might know as a center of influence and write a list of 5 to 10 names.  It doesn’t have to be a big list.  Get the anniversaries and birthdays of your centers of influence.  You want to be able to really connect with them.  This is something you could send them, a card for their birthday and or their anniversary.  That’s a first step.

The second step is to create a campaign with seven different touches or contact points.  We’re going to go with seven because 80% of people move forward at five contacts.  But a hundred percent probability of your ideal clients, who are the right fit, who are ready, will move forward was found to be 7 touch points.  So we’re going to go with seven contacts points.  Create a campaign or a system of 7 touches with these 5 to 10 referrers.  Now, just think about this for a minute.  If you have 5 to 10 referrers and 3% percent of your ideal clients are ready to be coached at any given time.  If you have 10 referrers out there then that increases your chances to 30% because they all have three percent.  This is where it gets really interesting and it creates a lot of ease.  You’re focused on deepening your relationship and getting in front of the referrers so that they can focus on referring people to you.  See how easy it gets.  I have mapped out a campaign with 5 different contacts and let me let me tell you what they are.

One could be an article that is relevant to your ideal clients. You could send them at a link to an article. Another thing you could send them is the latest book in that field with a very short report.  By short report, I mean three sentences of, “here’s what I learned from.. or here’s a book that’s really, really good in this field and here’s what I learned from it…  the latest health book and here’s what I learned from it”.  Curate content for them.

The next is a current statistic about what’s happening in their field.  It gets their mind going and thinking about things.  You could recommend a movie that they would like, something that would be interesting to them.  It could even be a personal thing and related to what’s going on with them.  You could send a quote that’s a favorite of yours.  I love quotes.  I have hundreds of quotes in my back pocket that I put in a little word document, and so you could send them a quote.  You could write an acknowledgment to them or a “love letter”.  Something that says, “Gee, you know, you’re out there helping people get healthy as this gym owner and I really want to acknowledge you for that.”  People don’t get acknowledged very often at all.  And that would be something that would catch their attention: also birthday & anniversary cards.

Those are seven different things that you could do to stay in contact with your referrers.  What if you sent them one thing a month?  In seven months, you sent them all of these touches, all of this stuff, and you’re going to be top of mind for them. They’re going to understand that they know who you are, they know that you’re looking for clients.

The other thing that I want to share with you about this referral process is “follow-through”.  When someone does send you a client, send them something as a “thank you”. You know, even a hand written thank you note, or even an email.  I mean anything to acknowledge that they’ve sent you something.  Sometimes I send a kindle book.  It doesn’t have to be super expensive…  A thank you that I think my referrers will really enjoy, something that I’ve thought about for them.  For people who refer to my six month or one year coaching programs, I send them something a little bit more special.  I’ve sent out Tiffany vases from Tiffany’s.  Everyone likes to get something from Tiffany’s J  Well, women tend to be more into Tiffany’s.  For men, it could be a Montblanc pen.  You know if somebody’s paying you $10,000 for a yearlong coaching program, you can afford to give up part of that for your referrer.   You want to delight them.  You want them to remember that.  And every time they use that pen or every time they see that vase, they’re going to think, wow I got that. And it’s going to remind them to refer to you.

So all of these statistics, all of these ideas will really support you in getting the right people into your business with lots of ease and joy.  To sum up during a referral program, find 5 to 10 centers of influence and send them something on a monthly basis.  That really makes a difference for them.  And you know, you could send them on every 3 weeks or every two weeks even if you wanted. Whatever you want to do. But after a while, this all seems to take on a mind of its own & a momentum!

And it’s really easy when you pick up that phone for that enrollment conversation and somebody says, “Susie Smith referred me to you. When do we start?”  That is just a great feeling!

So I hope you enjoy this tip.  If you would like more tips like this, join our Coaching Success Club at http://www.coachingsuccessclub.com/ where we meet… actually, I do Q&A calls twice a month for the club and answer any of your questions, including any questions about what we’ve talked about today.  So for now, wishing you lots of love and great joy.