If you want to find a new doctor or a great hair stylist, how do you know where to look? Most of us ask our friends, families and colleagues for referrals. The person referred may not even be the best in their field, but because the reference came from a personal connection, we are way more likely to give them a try. Obviously, personal referrals are very powerful which is why as entrepreneurs we are always trying to figure out how to get more of them.
Here are few tips to better your chances of getting more and better referrals from your peeps.
1. ASK. This should be a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many times people don’t ask for the referral. We assume because our close circle knows us, they would naturally be referring us. However, our friends, families and clients are just not thinking about our businesses as much as we are. They are probably more than happy to refer you, but if you don’t ask, they may not follow-through when they do meet a potentially ideal client.
2. Be specific about what you want. You need to do a little educating here. Let your circle know who an ideal client for you would be. Is it a first-time home owner? Is it a small business owner who is trying to figure out how to do payroll? The clearer you are, the easier you make it for others to refer you. Be specific.
3. Ask “Who, where, and what?” In the October issue of Success Magazine, Tory Johnson talks about asking “Who else could use my services, where else should I be networking and what else can I do to increase my reach?” Tory explains that when clients feel their opinion is valued, they feel more invested in helping you succeed. Plus, you’ll really want to know the answers they give you!
4. Be a good giver of referrals. To get you’ve got to give. When you give out good referrals not only are you helping other entrepreneurs and businesses, you are also establishing yourself as a connector which is a powerful position. People start to refer others to you as a resource and you begin to build a reputation as a leader.
5. Be present. People are busy and forgetful. You need to stay top of mind and in order to do that, you’ve got to stay visible. Make sure you are consistently posting on social media, updating your blog, speaking in public and actively networking. You are going to get a lot more referrals if you are in the “room.” @HeatherPoduska (Tweet this)
Finally, be sure to show your appreciation. If someone does refer you, make sure you thank them. If appropriate, you may want to send them a token of appreciation whether it is a small gift or perhaps a more substantial affiliate bonus. Let the people who refer you know how much you appreciate their recommendations.
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What do you find works well for getting good referrals?
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If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.