Build A Referral Base That Increases Your Business
by Carole Nicolaides
Almost everyone knows that it costs less to sell to a
current customer or a referral than to acquire a new
customer. Your most productive marketing strategy is
to get new business through referrals of current customers.
Yet, most business owners do not use this method.
Your primary goal in creating such a strategy is to make
sure that you are providing value for your existing clients.
Once they know how much they receive from your services,
they will naturally spread the word. Because they trust your
services they will provide you with word-of-mouth
advertising without even thinking about it.
Build relationships with people; use all the resources that
you have including old friends, peers, and church
communities. Your job is to create a customer pipeline
from all your resources. Research shows that each person
is linked to all other people by no more than a factor of six.
You never know who your friends or customers know. Talk
to your friends and give them an opportunity to become
ambassadors for your products or services.
An excellent way to do this is to build a referral team.
Simply identify 10 to 20 people who have the ability to
meet the kind of people you want to meet. Educate your
team members. Make them aware of what you can do for
people, and also become aware of what your team members
do. Over time team members will begin to promote each
other… providing excellent referrals. You may consider
providing each team member with something tangible to
give prospects. Newsletters, business cards or brochures
Another method of building a referral base is to ask for
referrals. When your clients are pleased with a product or
service you’ve provided, ask them to mention you to their
associates. You can also ask your clients to provide names
and contact information for those they think might be
interested in your services. The most effective time to ask
for referrals is immediately following the completion of a
If you incorporate traits of relationship marketing into your
business style, you will be more likely to receive referral
business from existing clients. When customers know you
sincerely care about them, and their success, they become
more willing to share you with their associates.
Here are a few tips as you ask for referrals.
1. Start the discussion by letting your client know this
is an important area of your business. Mention that, while
others may ask for referrals in passing, you are truly
interested in helping your client’s friends and associates.
2. Make it clear that you are asking for their help, yet
you understand if they choose not to participate.
3. Explain the process and let them know what you’d
like for them to do.
4. Ask them if you can get to know their friends - this
one is one of my favorites mainly because it shocks most
people. Offer to throw a party to which they can invite
their associates. See for yourself if some of their
acquaintances may need your services.
5. Share with them exactly what type of customers you
are looking for. Don’t assume that others will be able to
decide your preferred client type. Be specific.
6. Ask for quality referrals and not quantity. One
good, repeat customer far outweighs a dozen small,
It will not happen overnight. Building a solid referral base
takes time. However, remember that referrals are one of the
strongest forms of advertising. As you develop a network
of people who are promoting your business on your behalf,
you will see your sales increase.
Carole is President of Intentional Success Coaching offering
Personal Success Coaching, Marketing, Business Planning &
Internet Success Consulting. Visit her today for your FREE
coaching session and newsletter.http://www.intentionalsuccess.com
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