Reference programs aren't new, but their application to the window business is.
With a reference program, you ask a happy customer to endorse your company when one of your prospects calls him on the telephone.
It's easy to start a reference program. You create a list of the names and phone numbers of your satisfied customers who agree to participate, and then you share the list with your potential customers.
This kind of program is extremely effective. Because the potential customer has control - he calls when and if he feels like it - he trusts the endorsement. And, because he trusts the endorsement, the sale will often be closed as soon your satisfied customer and your potential customer have talked.
How To Start A Reference Program
1. Every time you finish a job, ask your satisfied customer if he would like to participate in your Reference Program. If he says "yes," add his name and phone number to your list.
2. When it is appropriate, offer to share your Reference List with your prospects. You Pay $50 -- or whatever amount you choose -- to every person on the list who speaks with your prospective customer You pay only if that prospect decides to purchase four or more windows from you. The number of names you pass along to your prospects is up to you.
3. Ask the prospect to give his name to every person that he calls.
4. If your prospect asks, "Are you paying these people for their recommendation," you can honestly reply, "No, I do give my customers $50 per call because they spend up to an hour talking with my Prospective clients. Thats just my way of reimbursing them for their time. But I can assure you that none of these people would act as references time and time again just to receive $50. I wouldn't do that and I'm sure you wouldn't either"
5. When one of your customers acts as a reference and endorses your company he'll fill out a card with his name and the name of the prospect he spoke with. If you close the sale with the prospect, you send the customer who acted as a referral a $50 check and a thank-you card.
6. When you add someone to your Reference List, mark that day's date next to his name. When that person has served as a reference for three months, call and ask if he wants to remain on the list. It's very important to check-in every three months to verify that your customer wants to continue to participate in the program. That way, if a customer decides that he doesn't want to talk to any more people, you can take him off of your list.
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