Often the reason that members find it difficult to find referrals is because they don’t know how to ask for them. Well, not ask for exactly, but start a conversation about a member in their chapter. They don’t have any ‘openers’. A phrase, something to start the conversation with, that will lead to a member being discussed.
Well, how about this for an idea? I was attending a Referral Skills workshop where members were being asked to share with the group ways of finding referrals that had been successful for them. And, I thought the following was a great idea.
Next time you go to a friend's home, in fact any home, have a look at what magazines are on the coffee table, on the kitchen units, on a desk, or by the side of the sofa. Is the magazine open at a particular page?
That’s your ‘opener’!
How easy would it be to motion to the magazine and say ‘Gardens, hard work aren’t they? Thinking of a change?’ And, off you go. Or, how about if a bathroom magazine is open at a page showing a beautiful fully tiled bathroom, you could say something like ‘Is that what your new bathroom is going to look like? I tried tiling. Never again!’ And, once again you are into a conversation, where you might be able to introduce your plumber, electrician, carpenter, plasterer, maybe all of them. They might even need a builder, or even a mortgage broker to raise the funds for the job.
But, the most important thing is your ‘opener’, after that there is no telling where the conversation will lead, or how many referrals you might be able to make.