Referrals are probably the best types of Leads that we can receive in business, and unfortunately one of the most overlooked – our rate of conversion will be high, and the type of people we get introduced to will be consistent, and best of all they are FREE…
So here are my Top 5 ways to build your referral based business – the SPROUT process…
Referrals should come from your Clients and Suppliers. I make it a condition of working with my company that all my suppliers bring people to my events, promote my services and introduce me to their network. This way I don’t have any overheads – just a series of Marketing Investments that brings me a great return.
Make sure that at the start of a customer or supplier relationship you are absolutely clear that you will be looking for introductions. I have found that most people are absolutely fine with this – providing of course you always deliver value to the people they introduce you to.
The best way to attract a referral is to give one. Always look for new clients and contacts to introduce to your suppliers and customers and those within your professional network. Give written testimonials to all your clients and suppliers; guess what they will do – reciprocate with referrals and testimonials for your business.
Sometimes saying thank you and doing a great job for a referred introduction will be enough, indeed paying for Referrals directly can actually be offensive to some people. The reward should fit the referral and be congruent with your business , your ethics and culture. Try giving people position rewards – Referrer of the Month for example and send them a couple of cinema tickets, publicising the fact they have given a referral makes them feel good and is good for them and their business.
Always update the person who introduced you about how the Referral is working out. Remember, you are effectively representing them and good or bad, their reputation will be affected by your behaviour. Communicate consistently and they will feel comfortable about passing you more Referrals.
When your client or supplier has achieved something amazing with your help; that is the time to ask them for an introduction. “I really enjoy working with you and your company; who else do you know that we could help that is just like you who would also be a great client for us..?”