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One of the problems that occurs in lead referral groups is that it can be hard to recognize when someone needs the services of someone you know. You can develop a relationship with the person and listen carefully for what will tell you the person needs the services of someone else, and never hear the words, even though the person might need such services.

I discovered a while back that instead of waiting to hear for the right phrase that would tell me that someone needed the services of my clients that it would better if I developed a list of questions for my clients and gave them those questions to discover what they do or don’t need. Then once we ran through that list of questions, I could refer them to people who could help them. At the same time I showed my clients that I wanted to understand all their business needs regardless of whether or not I could directly help them with those needs.

Putting a list of questions together isn’t too hard. Make sure that you meet with your network referral partners outside the meeting for a half hour or so. Then ask them what questions they ask their prospects to help qualify them as clients. These are questions you wouldn’t think to ask, but they are questions that your referral partners ask. Put those questions on a list and when you meet with a client, give him/her the list and ask him/her to fill it out. Tell your client you are asking the questions so that you understand what all of his/her needs are. Take a few minutes  to go over the answers and make suggestions of people the person can connect with. Also get your client’s permission to share his/her contact info with your referral partners.

I’ve been able to help a couple of my clients since I started this practice and also have helped my referral partners. It’s a guaranteed win for everyone, and everyone feels taken care of. So put together a list and be proactive in looking for leads. You’ll help your clients and your network.

How to create your question list for referrals

In my previous post I explained why it was a good idea to create a list of questions that other people in your network would ask, but that would never ask. The creation of said list helps you ask those questions and provides you a way to refer your clients to people in your network. It also has the added benefit of showing your clients that you care about all of their problems, as opposed to the problem you’ve been hired to solve.

The questions on your survey are provided by the people you network with. I recommend meeting with those people for a one-on-one getting to know you session. When you meet with them, ask the following question: “What is a question you would ask a prospect to qualify that person as a client?” Write down the questions they tell you and add those questions to your survey.

Here’s a couple examples of questions I’ve gotten from people in my lead referral groups:

Is your insurance broker shopping your policy each year (to find you the best deals)?

Do you spend more time in the accounting aspect of the business than working on growing your business?

These are questions I likely wouldn’t think to ask my clients. By having a survey with these questions ready, I can make sure I ask the question and generate leads for my referral partners.

When I meet with the client, I give the client the list. The following is written on the top of the document: “The following questions will help me, as your business coach, learn more about your business and specific needs you have that I may not know about otherwise.”

You could use something similar to what I’ve written or something like this: “Below is a survey I have created, with questions that I would like you to answer. Your answers will help me understand any other needs you have. I may not be able to help you with those needs, but I will refer you to a qualified professional who can help you, if you would like me to do.”

After your client fills out the list, go over it with them. Review the answers they’ve provided you and get more details where necessary. Then, if applicable, refer your client to the appropriate professionals and ask the client if it is okay if you share his/her contact information with the professional you will refer them to. Make sure you provide the professional’s contact information to your client.

As you can see this isn’t complicated to do. The benefit, for your referral network, your clients, and yourself is that you are helping people get their problems solved.

Copy right 2013 Taylor Ellwood http://www.imagineyourreality.com