November 15, 2013
Referrals are really the best way to get new clients, right? Having a strong referral network that sends a steady stream of paying clients your way is invaluable. What's the trick to building this network? Writing letters can be a quick, easy and powerful way to build your network. Sure, it might be considered old fashioned, but that also makes it memorable. How many emails did you get today? Too many to even count probably. Now add up how many handwritten letters you received today. I would bet that the answer is either zero or less that you can count on one hand.
2 Important Events that Trigger a Handwritten Letter
1) A positive birth
If you had a positive birth experience working as a team with an OB and/or midwife that is a perfect time to send a note. I just look up their office address online and send it there. I think timing is important, don't let too many days pass between the birth and the note.
2) A Client is Referred to you
If you get a new client send a thank you to your referral source. If this person is referring clients for the first time then it is a PERFECT time to grow that relationship. Let them know how much you appreciate the referral. If this is an existing referral source then now is the time to strengthen the relationship. You might even add a small gift with your note. Throw in a $10 Starbucks card and you will be remembered.
Where to start
I like to write notes using our BIRTH is my passion notecards. They are pretty, come with a positive message and are just the right size. Depending upon your handwriting size you can make this note as short as 3 sentences and up to a couple of short paragraphs. I like to make sure and include my phone number and email address at the bottom of the note. Including a business card can't hurt either.
What to say
Don't over think these letters. If it is genuine and comes from a positive place inside of you, it has to work. I often mention that it was great working together or I loved being part of such a wonderful team. I make a direct request for more business. This usually sounds something like "I would love to work with more of your patients and appreciate your referrals." Sometimes I mention my services like "I provide birth doula services and teach private and group Lamaze classes". Closing of the note is generally a thank you and my signature. The notes are quick, easy and to the point.
Doulas, dust of your pens and build your referral networks!
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