Building an effective and efficient referral network is all about just that: building. Building takes time and thought, and too often people go at it with a transactional approach, thinking quantity over quality, and not putting any strategy behind it. Humans are designed to interact and relate with one another, especially when it comes to business. Referrals are the bloodline of most businesses and those referrals often produce the highest quality clients and customers. In order to keep your senior living community growing and evolving, your referral network should mirror that same growth and evolution.
Keep these tips in mind when building your referral network and before you know it, your community will have a booming waitlist.
Listen, listen, and listen some more.
When meeting potential referrers, the most important thing you can do is listen. Ask them questions about how they got into their career, what their passions are, what they like to do in their free time, etc. Follow the 80/20 rule: let them talk about themselves and their business 80 percent of the time, and you reciprocate and keep the conversation going the other 20 percent. That way, they’ll undoubtedly walk away from the conversation feeling valued, heard, and appreciated.
After having a conversation with a potential referrer, go back to your CMS software and take notes on their contact profile. Jot down anything that stuck out to you, especially their interests, passions, etc. That way, you are imprinting what you learned in your memory and allowing room for them to remain top-of-mind for you.
Reach out, not about business.
Any time you come across a news article, blog post, video, meme, or anything else that reminds you of that potential referrer and would resonate with them, reach out with a simple, “I came across this and thought of you, I hope you’re doing well!” The 80/20 rule applies here too; 80 percent of the time reach out with genuine, thoughtful and meaningful points of conversation, and then the other 20 percent of the time, warmly mention how your community is always accepting referrals, and how greatly appreciated theirs would be. This keeps you top-of-mind so that when a referral opportunity comes along, it’s a no-brainer who they turn to.
These tactics should be taken to heart in every business interaction. That way, people will remember you as the genuine, lovely person that they should refer to when the right opportunity comes along. If you are constantly out building relationships and having meaningful business interactions, new leads will flood your community.