Are You Getting Referrals?

We would all like customers to just come to us – but this is just not the reality of the world. Business operators need to be out and about “walking the talk”, building a referral engine either through networking or raving fans (i.e. happy customers).

How much time do you spend educating the people who refer to you about what type of clients you want and nurturing these relationships?

Everyone loves word of mouth advertising and for many in an established business this is where the majority of new customers come from.
So how do you make it happen?

  1. Identify a team of people to promote your business – BNI groups were established on this principle. This team should be made up of loyal customers, suppliers and others that you network with or who have a circle of influence.
  2. Invite these people to actively help you by offering them something e.g. a discount off your services for the other business to provide to their customers as a thank you, or by giving them referrals in return.
  3. The most effective way to earn referrals is to exceed expectations. In order to do this you must first truly understand what your customers or network group expect and manage this effectively.
  4. Ask for the referral – let your customers know that you will be asking for referrals .
  5. Acknowledge the person who provided the referral. Let them know that the referral has contacted you and thank them. Once you have met the referral let the referrer know what is going on and if the referral becomes a customer be the first to let the referrer know. Make sure they feel appreciated for sending people your way.
  6. Contact and nurture your relationships with referrers. Let them know of any new or different things that you are doing and try to reciprocate their generosity in referring.

Referrals are a privilege, not a right. You don’t automatically deserve referrals, you have to earn them.

Mariejan Bigby
Small Fish Business Coaching Toowoomba

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