One the keys to a successful business is getting referrals. We always say that it’s cheaper to keep ‘em but it’s also easier to build a business with people who have received an endorsement about your product/service from someone that they know and trust. D you want to have a referral based business but don’t know how to start? These tips should help.
- If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. Many business owners assume that their clients will automatically think to tell everyone the good news of their outstanding business. Wrong answer. Bad news spreads much faster than good news. Until your client has a problem with your business, they may not tell anyone how much they love your business and what you do. You should make it a point to ask, “Who do you know that could also use (insert your product/service)?”
- Have a system. Once you decide that you are going to ask, make sure you have a system in place to capture the information and follow-up. The referrers may become discouraged if they give you a referral and you never contact them. It makes you look inconsistent and you are less likely to receive future referrals. (For more information on creating a referral system, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Provide an incentive or thank you to your clients that provide quality referrals. The key to not losing money using this tip is to not provide the thank you (if it is a gift) or incentive until after the referral has done business with you. We all know that if there is something free involved, people will give you a long list of names to contact; however, you want qualified leads that are likely to produce business. Tying the incentive to the results your business receives may make the referer think more carefully about who they recommend.
- Be consistent. You need to get into the habit of asking for referrals at the end of each business meeting, using your system to capture and follow up and then providing the incentives. Being consistent lets your clients know what to think of your process and will make it more likely that they will think of providing referrals outside of their encounters with you.