I needed a new exhaust manifold for my car. Frank, my mechanic, suggested I take the car to an exhaust specialist, so he referred me to Frick, a company he feels does a good job. When I called Frick to schedule my appointment, I told Julie, the person who answered the phone, that Frank had referred me. She didn’t seem to really care. Okay, I figured I’d tell her in person when I arrived. Maybe she was just busy.
I took my car to Frick the next day. After I was checked in, I told Julie again that my mechanic Frank had referred me to them. She simply said, “That’s nice.”
As I sat down, I was a bit troubled by the fact that she couldn’t care less. At around lunch time, the owner of the shop arrived and sat in his office, within earshot. So I asked Julie again, “Do you folks keep track of the people that refer business to you?”
“No, we get a lot of referrals,” she answered.
“That’s great,” I responded. “Do you at least indicate on the orders which were referrals and which were walk ins?”
Again, Julie said no. At that point, Julie began to appear a little annoyed, so I didn’t ask again anything else about the referrals.
I would like to point out that the majority of the five hours I was there, Julie spent talking with the customers or watching TV. She received three to five calls per hour, most of which she complained were telemarketers.
Now I’m not going to tell this man how to run what is obviously a successful business. But during the five hours I was there, at least six people that came in said they had been referred by other mechanics. Clearly they are doing a great job. Instead of chatting or watching TV, however, Julie could just as easily be sending a thank you card or email to the mechanics that are referring business. God knows she has the time!
Hypothetically, let’s say a new exhaust specialist opened up right down the street from Frick. And the new shop did just as good a job (or even close) as Frick, but followed up with a thank you to the mechanics referring business to them. Who do you think will eventually get more business? I’m willing to bet it will be the guy that said thank you.
Always remember to say thank you to those that pass you referrals. It may seem small, but it means a lot. At a minimum, your referral source will feel valued and appreciated.