Using Referrals to Grow Your Business

Easy tips to Increase Sales, Gain Trust and Get REFERRALS

Referrals, are the root of your business. Sounds easy but when it comes down to it people feel intimidated and awkward to ask a client for a referral. You may spend days or even weeks negotiating with a client and unsure of when or how is the right time to ask for a referral for new business. However, each time you do not ask you're missing out on the potential client of a lifetime and sales. Knowing when and how to ask is key to the success of getting a referral.    

When you get a referral, create superb customer service.

Once a client knows you and can trust you, they are more likely to recommend you at their next business meeting. This includes returning emails and phone calls promptly and friendly. Today, people expect to get answers instantaneously and if you are not responding they will find your competitor. Reach out to the client regularly just to touch base and make sure they are happy with the service you are providing them. Mark on your calendar a routine time to check in so not too much time passes between meetings and remind them you are there & create a reason to ask for a referral. 

Make your client feel special. If your launching a new product, make it available exclusively for current clients first rather than the entire general public. This allows for feedback and brag ability from the client that they got to see it first because they work with you. "Invitation Only" is a great way market a product before it comes out and make a client feel special. 

Make it personal and remind them to refer you. Just a simple handshake and a smile, "Great doing business with you. Please refer us to any potential clients we are excited to share our expertise."  Hand them a business card so they have a constant visual reminder of who you are and what you do. Turn your business card into a magnet so it stands out from other cards. You could incorporate the word referral into your business logo or motto so it automatically is included in every advertising campaign and business meeting. 

Host an appreciation event. Say thank you often and let them know you recognize the referrals and appreciate them. These events can help you get to know each other and build on the existing relationships. The client can network through you and return the favor by referring you in their network. Events are also a great place to showcase what your companies strengths and capabilities are and how they help other companies.  

Social Media is another great way to stay in touch. Ask them to follow you or connect with them on different platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Snapchat. Then at the next business meeting you can ask them how their kids soccer meet went or how adorable their new puppy is. This gives you and them a personal view into each others lives and makes them feel more like a friend than business associate. 

Next, use social media to see who your clients are following. Are they connected with someone who is a potential client for you? Ask for an introduction. The introduction will be more personal if you are introduced through a friend and more likely to be taken into consideration.

Sometimes, clients need to be taught how to refer you. Add a line on your website for referral submissions. This makes it easy for a client to refer you without having to look up your contact information and making a phone call which takes time out of their day. You could also do this on emails or social media. The easier it is for clients to do, the more likely they will come through and send you a referral. Make sure they how to get in touch with you and where you are located, especially if you're to nearby the client making the introduction.

Last but not least, please know that building loyalty takes time! Creating a genuine relationship means you have to be transparent, honest, and deliver on what your promise.

Take a keen interest in the genuine success of a client. Ask them specific questions about their business and their lives. Have them add your number into their personal phone contacts and invite them to the summer BBQ. Write notes about each meeting and what you discussed with specific details to review prior to talking on the phone or just before a meeting with them. 

Remember referrals are there to be your strongest form of new business. Take the extra time to onboard new clients, make them feel important, and deliver on what you promise. This will ensure people will flock to you to keep doing business.