I think it goes without saying that every business owner loves getting good referrals. The questions come in when you start talking about how to go about getting those good referrals. My experience with referrals over the past few years has shown me 2 key actions that I need to take consistently in order to keep a steady stream of referrals coming my way.
Ask For Referrals
It seems obvious, right? You usually won’t get something you don’t ask for. There are many reasons business owners fail to ask for referrals: lack of confidence, failing to set up reminders, too focused on immediate needs, etc. Whatever barriers you have that keep you from asking, now is the time to get over them.
Some of you may be getting a good number of referrals already, depending on the type of business you run and how pleased your customers/clients have been. Imagine how that number could grow if you developed a simple, standardized way of routinely asking for those referrals! How many of your clients/customers would be more than willing to refer you, but haven’t done it simply because they are focused elsewhere?
Give Good Referrals To Others
By giving good referrals to other business people you are connected with, you are creating a relationship dynamic that will likely come back to benefit you. I find that starting this process with other businesses that work with the same types of clients as my business does, is the most beneficial. Here is an example of what I mean by this: A wedding DJ might start referring a wedding photographer or wedding cake bakery. The same customer will likely need the services of each of these businesses, and referrals here will definitely be timely.
Have you ever been given a gift from someone you didn’t expect to get a gift from? If you are like me, after receiving a gift like this, you plan to return the favor in one way or another. This is exactly what happens with most good referrals. It doesn’t have to feel like “icky” business stuff. If you do good business that you’re proud of, everybody will win: you, your clients/customers, and your referral source.