Today's blog article is a guest post from someone with a wealth of marketing and sales experience. Dan Kraus is the founder of Leading Results a company that helps small businesses develop and execute successful marketing programs. In this article 7 Ways To Get More Referrals, Dan shares some of the techniques he has used in the past to help other small businesses.
Everyone wants to get more referrals. I know this with certainty from the hundreds of conversations I have had with businesses over the last 20 years. The question is always, how? John Jantsch, the author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine has a simple answer - be more referable. But what the heck does that mean?
In the simplest of terms, it means that you need to understand why you are in business and create true differentiation around that. Then you need to talk about how you are remarkably different and tell people why they should refer you. Getting referrals isn't about being humble and hoping others notice your excellence. To get referrals, you need to ask for them - from your customers, from your partners and even from your vendors. With that as a backdrop, here are 7 ways you can get more referrals:
7 Ways You Can Get More Referrals:
1. Practice asking for them. When a customer says thank you, don't just say you're welcome. Look them straight in the eye and say something like " we' re in business to help people/companies like you. Who else do you know that runs a great business that would value service like we give you?"
2. Have something for your partners or alliances to use in referring you. Maybe it is a coupon for free services they can give out on your behalf. Or a discount. Or access to something that you only give to paying customers. Be creative and unconventional and your partners will mention you.
3. Create moments of truth where you can ask for referrals more often - user groups, customer conferences, open houses, workshops. They all work if you give freely because you have earned the right to ask for something back.
4. Join a networking group and participate. Give referrals. Share your knowledge with the group. If you are not familiar with BNI, then go visit some groups. They will give you structure around asking for referrals and give you a chance to practice everything mentioned preciously, a lot.
5. Never give out one business card. Always give 2 and ask the person to pass yours along when they meet someone that could use your product or service.
6. Use your invoices, payments and other communications as a way to keep others aware that you are always looking for referrals. The single sentence - "A referral is nicest gift you can give us" does the trick.
7. Say thank you for ANY referral in a meaningful way. Send everyone who gives you a referral, whether it results in business or not, a token of your appreciation. Starbucks, and many other companies will send you give gift cards already set up in a nice envelope with greeting card that you only have to sign, address and stamp. Order a bunch and have them sitting on your desk so that you never have to think about it.
Dan Kraus is the president and founder of Leading Results. Dan originates from the New England area and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in marketing. His work today focuses on getting small businesses to stop wasting money on marketing that doesn't get results and help them find methods that do work. Leading Results is a Duct Tape Marketing coaching organization and has helped hundreds of companies make their marketing more effective. You can learn more at www.LeadingResults.com
Thank-you to Dan for writing this great article. My name is Chris R. Keller. I work at Profitworks Small Business Services helping various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener Ontario generate new customers. If you are interested in generating new customers for your B2B small businesses enter your email in the box provided below and click the "Send Me Free Updates" button.
I hope this article on ways to get more referrals was a great read. Thanks for reading. Have you got other ideas that have always worked for you? If so, let us hear about them! Send me an email and we can discuss being a guest blogger on this blog, or I will include your ideas in a future blog.