As a small business owner, you probably get a lot of your business through referrals. Family or friends share your services with people they know. Existing clients share your services as well. While not everyone you come in contact with is going to be a great fit for you as a customer, they just might be a good source for a referral.
Getting Great Referrals
- Make sure your networking friends know what you do and how to reach you.
- When having a heart-2-heart with another business owner, ask questions about how you might be a great referral for each other. Make that connection and get to know them on a personal level.
- Make sure your current clients know your full range of services. Educate them well.
- Give a referral to someone else. They will be more likely to give you a referral when they hear of someone who needs what you sell or do.
- Make sure to thank anyone who gives you a referral. A nice note, phone call, etc. is a great way to show your appreciation. Kudos at your next SEVEN meeting is a great way to thank them as well!
- Offer a referral plan. People love to get things for FREE. Print up a flyer that details your great incentive for sending you referrals. It doesn’t have to be expensive – maybe a Starbucks card, discount on services, movie tickets, etc.
- Do FABULOUS work for your clients. Just like unhappy clients will talk about you, so will happy clients. Make yourself outstanding so it’s YOUR name they think of when someone asks them, “do you know anybody who …?”
Giving Great Referrals
- When someone asks you for a referral, pick up the phone right away while you are with the person you are going to refer. Making contact right away shows the potential client that you are serious about the person you are referring them to. It also shows the business owner that you are serious about being a great referral partner for them.
- Connect people through an email or message on Facebook.
- When you make the introduction, tell the potential client what you like about the business you are referring them to. Do they have a quick turnaround time? Sell healthy products you’ve seen good results with? Have reasonable prices? Make sure they know why you think this person is FABULOUS at what they do.
Asking For A Referral
The best way to ask for a referral is to simply ask. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Who should you ask?
- Ask your current clients. When you are wrapping up a project with your client, ask them if they know someone who would benefit from your products of services. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
- Ask a fellow networker that you have gotten to know, like and trust if they know anyone who might need the goods or services that you provide.
- Ask your friends and family to refer people they know.
Word of mouth has so much power in business today. According to Forbes, 92% of people will believe a recommendation from friends or family over any kind of advertising. That’s pretty powerful. For a small business, having great referrals can mean the difference between being successful and closing your doors. We all know that what goes around, comes around. So make sure you are doing your part by also GIVING great referrals as well!