A Dead Simple Way To Get More Referrals That You’ve Overlooked For Years

by Kenny Pratt

Here’s the punchline… Ask for a tour.

How long have you been working with local apartment complexes and local businesses hoping they will refer business to you? As long as you can remember?

When was the last time you asked one of them to give you a tour of their community or place of business?

Asking For A Tour Helps You Build Trust In 3 Ways

  1. When you take a tour you demonstrate you are interested in what they have to offer so that you can give more powerful referrals *to them*
  2. You get to extend a very brief office visit into a more extended experience, giving you a more time together allowing you to deepen your relationship
  3. You move from having a conversation to having a shared experience. Shared experiences are more memorable and they are powerful building blocks for a relationship.

Are you seeing how taking a tour can show that you are as interested in helping them as you are in getting their help?

5 Ways To Make The Most of Your Tour

  1. Ask questions. Demonstrate your interest in their property or business. Find out what makes them special.
  2. Take pictures of your journey or the flattering or interesting things you find along the way and post them strategically on Twitter and Facebook.
  3. Let your referral alliance know that you have posted to Twtiter and Facebook. Send links to your Tweets and posts. You might as well get maximum credit for your efforts to make them look good.
  4. At a minimum take a picture of you together with the person who gave you a tour, smiling or making funny faces, or otherwise goofing off. Send a follow up email to the person who gave you the tour and include a picture of the two of you smiling together to increase the emotional impact.

    Building Relationships With Funny Pictures

    Here's a funny "Gangsta" picture I took with one of my store managers. It has always been a source of smiles and laughs.

  5. Bonus points if you use video. Video part of of your journey or take a minute and interview your host. Post your video to YouTube (assuming it casts your referral partner in a good light) and share the final result with them and your online networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

You’re Building Trust And Trust Leads To Referrals

Sure, taking a tour is an investment in time and energy. But isn’t that what all relationships require?

If you want the relationship to exist, then its up to you to pour in 80% of the energy required to get it established. Next time you visit an apartment complex manager or leasing agent ask them how many other self storage managers have spent the time to take a tour. Unless your competitor is reading this post, I would bet that you’ll be the first and only for a long time.

Taking a tour is a great way to invest in the relationship. Done right and you’ll also have many opportunities for extending the experience through the pictures and video you capture.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and go take a tour.

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