Saturday, June 2, 2012

How to Get Referrals - 7 Steps That Generate More Word-of-Mouth

Why work harder for business referrals when you can work smarter? Instead of endlessly canvassing for new business, consider some easy ways to bring in referrals that don't take a lot of extra effort yet can mean major profits for your growing business.

Step 1: Networking

Networking is an essential part of getting great business referrals. By being a part of a local community group, professional organization or committee, you can build relationships with other professionals and refer business to one another. Don't forget to include your staff as part of your network - they also know plenty of people, so offer discounts to the friends and family of your dedicated workers.

Step 2: Getting Means Giving

Once you establish a reliable network of professionals, make sure to refer them to others. However, don't refer someone simply because you are looking for business referrals yourself. Rather, consider yourself a business matchmaker who wants to create positive connections. When you see a client or associate has an unmet need, pass the word about someone that can effectively fulfill it. You will see that the favor will be returned down the road.

Step 3: Become an Expert

Choosing a target market and becoming an expert in that particular area is an excellent way to build referrals. By maximizing your expertise in a certain area, you will become well-known as a valuable resource. Take advantage of your expert status by further publicizing your business through informative newsletters, emails, postal mails and seminars.

Step 4: Ask

As simple as it sounds, don't forget to ask . Every time you talk to a client, it is another opportunity to build your network. Let them know you value your relationship with them and welcome the chance to help their friends, family and associates. Include a line that you welcome business referrals on your business cards, stationery and business sign. Keep getting the word out that you want and appreciate business referrals.

Step 5: Request Testimonials

Testimonials with names are an effective way to prove your business provides a worthwhile service. People will read these testimonials and relate to the needs of the person making the statement and how they were fulfilled by your office. When people recognize the name of the person making the testimonial, it is another form of business referrals.

Step 6: Give Away Freebies

When clients send referrals, offer to set up an introductory meeting over breakfast or lunch at a posh restaurant. Offer the new client and the referring client a reduced fee for your services. When you offer people perks, they are more willing to spread the word about your business.

Step 7: Say Thank You

Whether the person your client refers becomes a client or not, always send a thank you note to show your appreciation for the business referrals. Make it a habit to thank your clients for referrals and timely bill payments to stay in touch and show how much you appreciate clients who go out of their way to build a good rapport with you.

By introducing a few easy techniques to your daily routine, you will enjoy more business than ever before.

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