The most successful service providers master the art of generating referrals within their sphere of influence – they’re your best source of future growth. Drive new business through referrals by consciously implementing the following ten strategies:
Give them a reason to refer you. First and foremost, deliver first class service. It may seem obvious, but your customers are taking a risk in recommending you. Their own reputation is on the line. They’ll be more likely to connect you with new business if they’ve received top-notch service and are totally confident in your commitment to provide the same for others.
Be likeable. Transactions, particularly those of high value, take time. The process is a lot more enjoyable when you like the person who’s guiding you through it. Your customers will be more apt to refer you if they’ve enjoyed the experience and believe that their friends will too.
Seize the opportunity.
Capitalize on your clients’ satisfaction. When they express appreciation, ask for a testimonial or referral. A sincere and transparent approach works best — “I’ve really enjoyed working with you and would love to help any of your friends in a similar situation” or “I’m so glad that I’ve been able to help. Would you be willing to write down that positive feedback so that I can share it prospective clients in a similar situation?”
Create a strong online presence.
Once you’ve been referred to a new client, they’ll inevitably go online to validate that recommendation. Consistent branding, client testimonials and informative content will substantiate the recommendation to work with you.
Demonstrate a commitment to your community.
People want to work with someone they respect. I’m reminded of a colleague who concluded every email with a note about donating a portion of each transaction to her clients’ favorite charity. Her generosity to her community offered insight into her character and priorities.
Add value over the long haul.
Share informative blog posts, industry specific articles and market trends that demonstrate your expertise and build credibility within your sphere. Extend your influence even further by inviting others share your useful content within their own social networks.
Spread the word with current clients.
Let clients know that you’re ‘open for business’. Include an invitation for referrals in all of your print, email and other marketing communications. Consider creating a referral packet of information for clients to pass along to friends in need of your service, and include a link on your website to make it simple for them to refer you.
Keep social media profiles current.
Demonstrate that you’re on the ball by providing regular updates to your social media channels. In doing so, you’ll stay fresh in their minds and dynamic in the marketplace.
Reciprocate within your network. Create a list of trusted service providers to share with your customers. In doing so, you’ll become a resource for them, and you’ll build good will among those whom you recommend.
Make it a habit. Keeping your pipeline full of new referrals requires consistent effort over time. Proactive outreach in the form of social media updates, email newsletters, content sharing, phone calls and personal notes dramatically increases the likelihood that you’ll be the first they think of when a friend is in need of your services. And always remember to say thank you — your demonstration of appreciation affirms your clients’ good faith and encourages future referrals.
Reach150 helps you generate more referrals and close more business. We provide a single place to simply and systematically capture and distribute content that conveys your industry excellence and unique persona to the people you want to reach.