One thing we know about referrals is that it’s easier for your referral source to close the deal than it is for you because your source already has a relationship of trust with your prospect. A referral where your referral source has already closed the deal for you before you even contact your prospect is the absolute best kind of referral you can get; it’s considered a level 10 referral.
Last week and the week before, I wrote blogs explaining the differences between referral levels 1 through 3 and referral levels 4 through 6. I promised all of that was leading up to “the really good stuff” so . . . Ahem! . . . Drumroll please! . . . here comes the really good stuff–referral levels 7 through 10!!
7. Arranged a meeting. When your referral source arranges a meeting, she moves beyond the role of a promoter to that of a facilitator, taking the responsibility of working out the details of getting you and the prospect together. This is a big-time referral effort.
8. In-person introduction and promotion. At this level, your referral source is making a serious commitment of time and energy in support of your business. By agreeing to serve as an intermediary in a face-to-face introduction, your source becomes an active business agent. This demonstration of deep trust in and approval of your product or service substantially raises the referral’s effectiveness with the prospect. Adding promotion further enhances its power, because your source is then actively engaged in selling your product or service instead of just facilitating a meeting.
9. Assessment of need and interest. In this level, your referral source has done the work of assessing the need a prospect may have for your product or service and has gauged the prospect’s interest in learning more about it. This enables you to focus your selling effort on needs you know the prospect has an intention to fill, and it allows you to select or tailor your products or services to provide specific benefits.
10. Closed deal. At the top level, the sale has been closed before you even contact the prospect, soley on the strength of your referral source’s efforts. Nothing else is required from you except to deliver the product or service and collect payment.