Referrals – Writing a Soft Sales Letter That Gets You More Referrals
What’s the best way to get more referral business? It’s… it’s by writing a thank-you letter.
Yes, I know – it’s weird, but it’s the best technique you can use for getting more referrals. Yes, better than a sales letter!
Here’s how it works: First, you get a referral. I know – I’m as surprised as you are, but sometimes it happens: someone liked you… and somewhere down the line and they passed some good words out about you to a new customer or prospect.
Here’s what you can do to encourage them to refer you again and again: send them a “Thank You for your referral!” letter. Here’s what happens: First, your “Thank you!” letter elevates you from the silent majority – who never bothered to express their appreciation for being referred. Well, that got you noticed, and placed well above 99.9% of other people who have received a referral from someone and never even said thanks, let alone write a letter. Now here’s how to get even more business.
Face it: a phone call just doesn’t have the impact of a thank you letter. Whatever you said on the phone – that fades into the horizon with the sunset. But not a letter. A letter has time to sit on the recipient’s desk as a lasting memento of your appreciation. A phone call just doesn’t compare to the visual goodwill generated by an appreciative letter.
The Most Valuable Letter
So, the most valuable letter you can write is to thank someone for their referral. “Thank you for your kind referral. I appreciate the privilege to be of service to your colleague. I don’t take referrals lightly, and assure you I will provide good value…” Continuing, “Thank you so much for your referral and your trust.”
A referral is the utmost demonstration of trust a client or friend can show. It’s the leap of faith that you’ll perform exceptionally well for someone else, even when completely out of view. The person who recommends you puts their own name and reputation on the line for you. Does it deserve a thank you letter? You bet! But wait, there’s more.
Why is your “Thank you” letter so effective? First, it makes the person feel comfortable with their recommendation of you, because now they know you’re going to do the very best job you possibly can for your new client. You’re going to lean over backward to look good, and to make them look good for giving you their referral. You can’t make them feel like this with an ad, brochure or a phone call, but it’s easy to do with a well placed and well timed letter.
With a personal letter it’s easy to convince someone who has referred you that you really do appreciate the trust they’ve placed in your products or services. You can make them feel, well, like they should refer more people to you, all the time. And therein lies the beauty, the value, and the monetary worth in the most valuable letter you can write: the “Thank you for your referral!” letter. The receiver will remember it, and when the opportunity comes up again, they’ll continue to refer more people to you.
You’ve heard of word-of-mouth advertising as the best (and the cheapest) form of advertising? Well, this is better. It’s how you make it more referrals happen, again and again.
So now this “Thank you for your referral” letter has become the least costly AND the most effective piece of advertising you can write, bar none. Least costly? AND most effective? Hummm…
Did you notice how casually the “Thanks for your kind referral” letter has now become the most effective piece of advertising you can write? It’s no longer in the “I’ll just dash off this thank-you letter” category. It becomes an art form, your personal ad in the exact form and style of a letter.
Sending a Hard-Working Gift
What does my office do for people who refer direct marketing consulting or copywriting clients to us? We send them a Cross Pen, and of course a wonderful letter that says thank you so much for your kind referral. And we have THEIR name engraved on the pen (the only person who wants a pen with my name on it is me!) Don’t worry, they’ll remember where they got it!
By the time we ship their new pen to them, and of course our own personal letter of thanks, it costs us about $25. Is it worth it? You tell me: the prospect who received the referral of us trusts us because he received the personal recommendation from a friend. If we do any work for the new client, our copywriting and market consulting fees range from… well, we get our $25 back pretty quick. Many clients stay with us for years.
We don’t convert all the prospects referred to us into actual rent-paying customers. Some don’t need our high-powered direct marketing sales letters or high response direct marketing sales material. Some aren’t ready to launch products just yet; and some are just tire-kickers or fishing. No matter, we still send an engraved pen to the referral source with a nice letter of thanks.
Funny, the more letters we send, the more referrals we seem to get from the referral source. Which we really do appreciate. If you’d like to get more business, write an exceptional “Thank you for your referral!” letter, and keep it at-the-ready in your computer.
When you get a referral, send the letter. If you feel it’s worth it, send an engraved Cross Pen with your letter of thanks. If not, that’s OK, a letter by itself will thank people nicely also. You can’t buy that kind of advertising – that goodwill or trust, or those kind referrals – at any price. Or can you?