Let me ask you a question…
Can you tell me—without guessing…without doing a lot of digging around—how many referrals per active client/customer you averaged during the last 12 months?
It’s a key statistic, yet most people have no grip on it at all.
The quickest way to double your business or professional practice is simply to get each client, customer or patient to give you another one.
Not only will you double your business or practice…
- It lowers your marketing costs. Often it’s free (or virtually free.)
- There’s less price resistance. Customers referred to you by satisfied customers come with a certain level of pre-established trust. They are predisposed to buy. And they’ll be less resistant to price than new customers attracted by advertising.
- You’ll get more referrals. The customer obtained by referral is generally much more likely to refer a new prospect to you than an advertising-generated customer.
To increase your referrals, start with two words: Priority and Accountability.
Priority begins with two statistics you’ll measure. Bringing up the average of your overall referrals is statistic #1. Deriving the maximum number of possible referrals from each client, customer or patient is statistic #2.
These two statistics have to become you and your staff’s highest priority and your primary focus.
You also will need to hold yourself accountable. Each day you should ask:
- What did I do today?
- Who did I converse with?
- How many clients did I talk with today about referrals?
You must hold yourself and your staff accountable. And you even have to hold your clients accountable when they offer to refer someone.
Taking whatever referrals come and being happy with that is lazy and negligent.
Measurement automatically will improve your performance. Just about any experienced athlete will tell you that. Without measurement and accountability, there will be a gradual decline in performance. With measurement and accountability, there will be nothing less than stability and, usually, improvement in performance.
Off and on over the years, I’ve run “Inner Circle Groups.” Members had to send in weekly or bi-weekly statistics and reports. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen significant improvement in practices solely because of the imposed awareness and reporting of statistics and activities. And most practice management folks will grudgingly admit that having the doctor report to them is as beneficial for the doctor as any advice they give him.
Successful businesses are managed, even micro-managed by statistics. (Tweet this!)
If that sounds boring or tedious to you, it shouldn’t. This is the only scientific approach to achieving goals and success.
Let’s take an example. Assume you’ve determined that you average one referral for every ten times the doctor actually converses with patients about referrals. And you want ten referrals during the first half of the month. How many patients does the doctor need to talk to?
He needs to speak to 100. Divide this number by 15 days and you get 7 per day. This works out to about one per work hour.
Now, if each hour you monitor yourself and check off that you have conversed with a patient about referring, you will achieve your “big” goal. If you miss one hour, then simply double up the next hour.
If you apply that kind of measurement to every important aspect of your performance and your staff’s performance, you’ll be amazed by the results.
Most businesses could easily increase by 50% to 100% purely and exclusively through installing this kind of measurement—not spending a dollar more on advertising. No big marketing breakthroughs. Just automatic performance improvement through measurement, priority and accountability.
Even if you don’t have any staff to help you, you can use this idea to coach yourself successfully. The question is now, will you implement the actions and disciplines need to achieve this? Or will you cheat yourself out of more business by not really committing to your referral goals?
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