Any local business that wishes to grow by referral needs action strategies that are the seeds that will grow your business. Once one or more of these actions strategies are in place, it’s important to work them consistently to allow yourself to gain traction. Pay attention to what works and modify over time.
Start using referral language with all clients and every prospect. Phrases like “I want to be more to you than you might expect from your <insert profession.>” will solidify you as a professional seeking to add more value to your client interactions. When someone says “Thank you” to you for providing great service and/or products, don’t simply say “You’re welcome!” Learn to start responding with statement similar to this “Please don’t keep me a secret as referrals are the lifeblood of my business. Not just getting referrals but by recommending other good local professionals that I can refer to you when you need someone good. I trust that when (now that) I’ve delivered on/above the promises I’ve made to you, that you will consider referring me to those people you care about who might have similar needs.”
Work referrals into your sales routine. Pre-plan for referrals, so they don’t happen by “luck”. Think about potential referral needs for your clients and pre-plan business card introductions into every client interaction. Example: “Mary, I know we are meeting today to talk about your situation, but very quickly, I wanted you to know about these two businesses (hand over cards). They do great work and are friends of mine and I wanted to spread the good word. Not sure if you have a need or not, but if you do … these are the people to call.”
Capture all contact information from clients / prospects. Use email marketing a minimum of 1x per month. It’s important to stay connected with your clients and prospect so they are softly reminded about your value and will call on you again in the future for additional business.
Remember, we’re all in this together as entrepreneurs and professionals completely in charge of our own incomes. Referrals are a great way of giving back to the business community. Enthusiastically look to grow your own referral team by always being on heightened alert for other professionals you can invite to visit your team.