In this post you'll learn about the Client Replication Rate (CRR) and why it's the difference between a viable, stable, long term business ... and one that isn't.
I was coaching a group of health professionals and I asked them a simple question.
"How many times per day do you ask your clients for a referral?"
The silence was deafening. Not one of these consultants asks their clients to refer other people.
So, my challenge to them was to go from zero to 10 in a week. So, out of the 50-80 clients they consulted in one week, they had to ask just 10 if they had family or friends who needed help, and then invite them to send them in.
When you're working with a baseline of zero, you can see how easy it is to apply X10 Thinking.
What do you think happened to those who actually did this task?
Of course, they filled up their appointment books ... and it didn't cost a cent. But it did cause some discomfort ... and they did find it a challenge.
They had it all backwards. Every single one of them.
First, they've spent years of their lives studying and developing their expertise.
Second, they get up everyday to consult with clients ... that's what they do.
Third, for those who dig deeper, they feel a sense of purpose in their work.
You'd think with this background they'd have no trouble inviting people to consult with them. You'd think that if they cared about the client in front of them, that they'd enthusiastically extend this care to their clients' family ... friends ... work colleagues.
But no ... they were too embarrassed or ashamed to ask for referrals. It made them feel 'icky' or 'uncomfortable' ... and since coaching some of them, I discovered a number of reasons.
I'm a professional and people just come to see me. I shouldn't have to ask them to come to see me.
I want people to think I'm successful ... and if I ask for referrals they might think I'm not busy enough (even though I'm not busy enough).
I don't want people to think I'm just after money. And if I ask them to refer people, they'll think I'm just money-hungry.
I don't want to annoy the client and make them feel uncomfortable. I don't want them to feel awkward and obliged to refer someone.
In each of these consultants 'minds' was an old idea that needed to be upgraded.
All your clients know that you're in the business of consulting clients. It's not news to them.
And there's no illusion that you're making money consulting clients either. They pay you. They know.
If you're good at what you do and you care about your clients ... which you do ... then why would you withhold your expertise from the people they care about? And withhold it on purpose?
If they have a family member or friend who could use your help, then you're letting them down by not offering to help.
If you're concerned about your reputation, ask yourself which one of these two reputations you'd prefer to have?
Consultant 1. The unconfident, shy consultant who never offers to help family or friends because they are too proud, nervous or awkward to ask, or
Consultant 2. The enthusiastic, confident consultant who shows their genuine concern for you and extends this to include your family and friends ... and then they actually help your family and friends, who in turn thank you for the referral?
Consultant 1 will struggle. Consultant 2 will thrive.
Client Replication Rate (CRR)
Everyone knows that word of mouth referral is great for business, but surprisingly few people really pay attention to this ... a lot of times, they're too uncomfortable to ask for referrals and want it to all just happen organically.
Word of Mouth is people talking about you and recommending you.
Client Replication Rate is the number of new clients you actually get as a percentage of how many clients you have.
- If you have 100 clients in a month, and get 10 referrals from that base ... then your CRR is 10/100 = 0.1.
- If you have 100 clients in a month and you get 1 referral from that base ... then your CRR is just 0.01.
- If you have 100 clients in a month and you get 100 referrals from that base ... then your CRR is 1.0.
The closer the CRR is to 1.0, the better. A CRR of greater than 1.0 would be exponential growth.
And yet most people in business don't pay attention to this metric.
They focus on lead generation instead of referral generation.
Lead generation is of massive importance ... but not at the expense of referral generation.
Can you take a guess at your CRR? What do you think it is? Do you know?
What can you do to focus on CRR? On increasing it ... on purpose?
Let's get back to the beginning and wrap up the story.
There are 86,400 seconds in a day. That's how many opportunities you have to invite an existing client to refer their family, friends and colleagues to you.
My original group of health professionals weren't using any of those opportunities to invite their existing clients to refer.
So, I had them first shift from 0 to 10 ... in a week.
Then, those who were brave enough, went from 10 in a week, to 10 in a day.
Again, what do you think happened to their business?
What would happen to your business if you just started asking existing clients to refer?
And just slipping them a 'refer a friend' card doesn't really count. I mean passionately and enthusiastically asking for referrals.
Here's How It's Done
I'll use my wife as an example. Rhoda is a dietitian, and specialises in body transformation.
"Jackie ... you're doing so well. You've been sticking to your eating plan and workouts ... you must be so proud of yourself. The weight is coming off ... you're looking amazing.
You know I love what I do and I love my clients ... and I especially love helping the family and friends of my clients ... have your sister or mother ever wanted to go through something like this? What about friends. I'd love to help them too.
"Send them along ... of course I can just have a chat with them, talk about where they're at and what they might want or need ... it's so important for them."
"You know me ... I'm fanatical about this stuff ... I love it ... please send me your people. I want to take care of them for you."
Now, you might not take this exact tone ... and Rhoda is very personable with people. But can you see that a simple interaction like that doesn't have to be pushy, or desperate, or money-hungry. Because it's not.
This is Rhoda's authentic self. She does love it. She does love helping people. And she particularly loves helping friends, family and people who are referred.
Client replication is one of the foundations of the X10 Thinking and we go over it in detail in the X10 Entrepreneur Intensive.
If you'd like to learn more about what you'll get out of the Intensive, just click through to the latest webinar and find out.
Fact is ... I love what I do and I'm always on the lookout for great people to help and work with.