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Create and use a referral guide (Part I)

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A referral guide is nothing more than a three-ring binder or folder. “The guide is not your marketing brochure, but a stand-alone kit that helps to upgrade your process of asking for referrals. Use the guide in a face-to-face meeting with a top client, walking them through it at a reasonable pace. Your client keeps the guide, and can refer back to it when thinking of referring someone to you. Or, they may actually give it to that person. Even if it ends up sitting on a shelf, that’s OK, it will still have done its job! Include the following in your guide:

  • Introductory letter to the client: This is a personalized, one-page letter that explains the overall philosophy of referrals.
  • Sample newsletters: Put one or two past issues of your newsletter in the guide. If you don’t have a newsletter, now is a good time to examine that strategy.
  • Articles you’ve written: This is even better than a newsletter. People who write are smart, important and serious members of their profession who command respect beyond the average competitor.
  • Articles written about you: If you haven’t already, there are a number of ways to get good press on yourself and your team. Try to cultivate a relationship with a reporter by sending him a story idea.
  • List of services: Most clients probably know less than 10 percent of what your capabilities are. Many times they are hesitant to refer you because they think their friends do not need the same advice or programs you helped them with.

–From Frank Maselli‘s book, “Referrals: The Professional Way”