I hear many folks proclaim, “oh, my biz just grows by referrals.” Well, if you’re not one of those people who are either lucky or lying, let me share how to make referrals work for you.
Every complaint is an opportunity for a referral!
Transform yourself into an Active Listener – At networking events, meetings, or conferences, truly listen to what someone is telling you. Yesterday, for example, a new acquaintance mentioned that she hates her credit card processor. Another was looking to up her golf game. What’s my “F” strategy? Follow up with introductions!
Reward Your Folks! – What’s wrong with a thank you card? How about a gift card? If your referral partner went the extra step for you, shouldn’t you go the extra step for her?
Ask for Referrals – When your client is happiest, ask them who else might benefit from your services. (Note: it’s probably not when you just sent them an invoice!)
Keep the End Goal in Mind – You are looking to building a solid core of raving fans and referral partners. Stop playing “tit for tat” as often referrals will come your way in waves when you can’t seem to return the referral favor. Remember: Referrals are not a one-to-one game, but a longer strategy that wins business over the long haul.
Become an Avid Connector – Ensure referrals are always part of your business strategy by helping others first. Doing good is always the right thing.
Write LinkedIn Recommendations – Stop asking for LinkedIn recommendations until you write a few yourself! It’s then much easier for your connection to return the favor.
What works for you when it comes to referrals? Share your thoughts, comments, and insights in the comments below.
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