Win Business without Selling
When the new client relationships you build are mutually beneficial and have evolved through a collective interest in shared goals and objectives, the “selling” process happens naturally without pressure or coercion.
In a genuine relationship, both parties enjoy each other’s company and feel respected and valued for being precisely who they are. Each person is honest and upfront about what they want and expect from the other and ulterior motives disappear. Details and specifics are brought out into the open and no assumptions are made. Open communication is paramount.
Within this framework, frank discussions about fees, expected outcomes and value for money can be had without worry or fear that someone will be caught by an unpleasant surprise. If the client has questions or hesitations, he or she can feel comfortable bringing them up immediately to be dealt with before they become a larger issue.
“Selling” of this nature becomes more of a collaboration toward a shared goal than a one-way process. Because the service-provider engages the client in the process of discovering just the right solution for them, the client has not been sold-to but has instead played a key role in addressing their own issues.
In this way, the client has much greater ownership over the outcome and can feel great pride in their participation in it. Consider then how much better this client would feel about the service you’ve provided compared to a client that you had to sell to heavily. Now consider what this client will say when a friend of theirs asks them for a recommendation for someone like you.
Within genuine, collaborative relationships, happy clients love to share their positive outcomes with those closest to them. Especially if they have played a role in their own success, it won’t take much for your new clients to provide strong recommendations about your service to their extended networks. All that’s left for you to do is ask them.
When a client is delighted with a service you have provided them, make it a standard part of your communication process to ask directly whether they might consider referring you to their friends and networks. Ideally this would happen without you asking, but with busy, successful people, too often it does not.
So ask your happy clients what you can do to make referring your business easier for them. Would they like some additional brochures or business cards to hand out? Would they like to invite certain people in for a coffee on you? Would they prefer to give you the contact details of those who are interested so that you can perform the initial outreach and follow-up phone calls?
Finally, think hard about what business you might be able to refer to your clients. Who do you know in your extended network that you feel could be a good prospect to put in touch with a certain client? Nothing encourages a referral quite like one spontaneously received, so put some time and energy into doing all that you can to help your clients succeed.
When you’ve stepped up to play a significant role in the growth and success of your clients’ businesses and lives, they will readily step up to play a significant role in yours. It is the essence of building a referral machine business.