Referrals are the best way to grow your business. Without referrals, your business will not endure. You are “dead in the water” so to speak. Here are some tips to ensure that you get the referrals you need for your business:
1. If your customers perceive that you want or need more referrals, then you will get them. Many clients have the idea that your customers come through advertising of one form or the other. Some may get the impression that you are always extremely busy and really do not need any referrals. Even though they themselves were referred to you does not matter. If your client is not directly involved with any kind of selling activity, then they will not understand the very important need there is for referrals.
How do you overcome this problem? You must educate your contacts and clients that you do,indeed, always welcome referrals. Make sure to plant seeds in your client’s mind whenever you can. Let them know how excited you are about a new account you have that was recently referred to you.
2. If your clients feel comfortable enough with you, then they will refer more business your way. In other words, your client must have enough confidence in their judgment about you. Be sure to relate as many success stories as you can that you have brought about for your clients. Make sure you are punctual when you deal with people. There is nothing worse than being late to a call! Return all calls promptly and if you belong to any organizations, be consistent in your participation. This behavior will be equated with trustworthiness by potential referral sources.
3. You will surely get more referrals if your clients know how to refer business to you. It is your job to provide ways for them to do so. It is always a good idea to ask your clients to call any referral they give you so that they will know to expect your call. What would even be better is to ask your client for his or her referral to call you. In that way, the interest in your product or service is already there.
4. If your clients know how you can be of benefit to others, then you will definitely get more referrals. You can improve your position by making sure that your clients understand all of the ways that you can help your customers. You can accomplish this by taking an interest in their business or life and then adding your own comments about what you are doing. Very often you will get a response such as “Well, I did not realize that”!
5. If you make sure to thank your active referrals enough, then your will get more referrals. As a rule of thumb, make it a habit of thanking a referring party three times. First, give them a verbal thank you both when you receive the referral and then after contact has been made with the referral they provided. The second time you should thank then in writing. And last but not least, you should thank them with some small gift after you complete your project. Use the “thank you” process in order to keep your referrers informed about the progress you have been able to make with the referral they gave you. They really do want to know what the outcome of their actions are.
6. You will make sure to get more referrals if your past contacts and clients do not forget about you. It does absolutely no good if your client is confronted with an opportunity to refer more business to you and they do not remember you. Always try to stay in touch with your client base. You can do this by telephone, mail and any other communications that you produce. You should not let more than three months elapse without them hearing from you.
7. If you understand why it is that your clients give you referrals, then you will gain more referrals for your business. In most cases, your client is not really trying to benefit you but the party to whom they refer you to! This is important because it is a major shift in attitude from you to how you can help others. It makes your client look good when when someone they referred to you is helped.
One of the very best ways to get more referrals is for you yourself to become a source of referrals. If you are viewed as a good referral source, then most people with reciprocate!
Ken Harrington is an expert at helping small businesses gain the referrals they need to grow beyond what they previously thought was possible. To find out more about this advanced follow up and customer referral system, visit www.FirstUpMarketing.com
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