You know that referrals are the life of a small business owner. Not only are you getting a prospect from a trusted source, but you have to do very little if any selling. That leaves you more time to run your business and make money.
So one way to grow a business is to get better (and more) referrals. Here’s how:
Do Your Homework and Discover Who’s the Best Referrer for You
Take a look at the people who have referred others to you in the past. Consider creating a special plan to court these referral sources. For example, you might send them a coupon for your products or services just to let them know how much you appreciate them.
Thank Yous Go a Long Way (and so do gifts!)
As soon as you receive a referral, connect with the source and thank them. You can automate the process to make it easier. For example, when you receive a referral, generate an automatic email response to the referral source to thank them for the referral.
You might also include a free gift or a discount code as a thank you as well. Depending on your niche and your business model, offering a discount can be a great way to motivate repeat referrals.
Apply the 10 x 10 Rule
The 10×10 rule works like this. Make a list of 10 complimentary industries to yours. For example, if you make dog collars, dog trainers, groomers, and retailers may be ideal complimentary businesses. Once you have your list of ten industries, do a bit of research and find 10 professionals for each that you can connect with for referrals.
You now have 100 potential referral sources. Connect with these people. Introduce yourself. Learn more about their business and educate them about yours. Become referral partners.
Ask for Referrals
As soon as a client tells you what a wonderful job you’ve done for them, thank them and ask for a referral. Each time you’re successful and your clients are happy, it’s the perfect time to ask for a referral.
Honor the Referral
Follow up quickly and represent yourself in the most professional manner. Make the person who referred you feel glad that they did. They’ll be more likely to do it again.
Referrals are a wonderful business builder. Create a strategy to build your referral business; then you can focus more on providing spectacular products and services and less on drumming up business.