It’s a proven fact that people will listen to other people before they will listen to a manufacturer or a company. That’s why sites such as Angie’s List have popped up. In fact, Consumer’s Digest and other similar magazines have been around for years testing products as an “unbiased” party. That’s why referrals are so important especially in today’s economy.
There is a better and best way to ask for referrals from your customers and timing is critical to getting quality referrals. The last thing you want to do is to ask for the person to be thinking of referrals the minute you walk in their door.
The better way to do it is to wait until you have done the work, business is done and are ready to leave. This is the only time you should ask for referrals.
But wait, there’s a best way to ask for referrals. This starts the minute you knock at the door. Are you hands clean? did you leave soot smudges? Have you knocked and then taken a step or two back to give them some space? Did you introduce yourself and shake their hand? Do you ask if your van is in the way or will it be OK there while you do the work? Do you explain to them what you will be doing and recommend the necessary precautions – like putting up pets, ushering children out of the room, moving breakables, furniture, etc? How about that little extra something? Like telling them exactly why they need a metal ash bucket with a lid and how it is for their safety? Or perhaps you caulked a small crack up top and told since it was a small thing you aren’t charging them? Maybe they have a damaged spot on their roof that you bring to their attention.
The bottom line is that your customer needs to feel taken care of by you. It all comes back to “you do something nice for someone it comes back ten-fold”. It’s the Golden Rule. This is the way life and business should be done daily. How different our world would be.
After you’ve finished the job you can then feel comfortable asking for referrals. They may even beat you to it by asking for extra business cards. If that business referral is successful, reward them. It could be a $15.00 Subway gift certificate. Or McDonalds so they can take their children or grandchildren on the weekends. It’s the thought that counts.
2010 Lindemann Chimney Supply