Anyone in a business setting who interacts with clients on a regular basis knows just how important referrals can be. While there are a large number of ways to get new clients and attract new business, referrals are by and large the most reliable. If you’re having a hard time attracting new referrals, there are a few key things that you’re going to want to try. Remember that these customer interactions can help keep a steady stream of work coming through even during periods where business is naturally slow, so you always want to be doing your best to drum up new clientele whenever possible.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
If you want to get more referrals that are of a higher quality, you always need to make sure that you’re doing the best possible work. You can market yourself in many different ways with varying levels of success in a quest to get as many referrals as possible, but the simple truth of the matter is that after a certain point the work will more than speak for itself. If clients can see that you’re doing high quality work, which they won’t be able to find anywhere else, you will start getting more and more referrals as a reflection of that. The reverse is also true. If you are doing sub-par work, you will find it harder and harder to gain more business no matter what methods you try. Before you start using guerrilla marketing tactics or paying referral services to do heavy lifting for you, remember that the referrals have to be earned the hard way. If you aren’t putting your best foot forward with regards to the quality of your work, no magic referral trick in the world will be able to help you.
Involve and Reward Employees
Another tip that you can definitely consider as a way to get more referrals has to do with some type of reward program. If you have a large number of employees working for you, for example, incentivize them to get out into the world and try to drum up as much business as possible. Maybe a bonus can come in the way of something like a gift card. You can also give them a certain percentage of the overall money that is eventually made from the client. If you give your employees some type of incentive, they will be much more likely to get involved and help you in your quest for getting as many referrals as possible.
Give Referrals to Get Referrals
One very important aspect of getting more referrals actually has to do with giving them out yourself. Keep in mind that nobody likes to give something for nothing, which is a phrase that is especially true in the world of business. If you know people in the same industry who also operate on a referral system, you need to make sure that you’re giving referrals to others whenever possible. Your business colleagues and friends will be much more likely to send referrals your way when the time comes for a variety of reasons. For starters, they will likely have the feeling that they owe you something. Giving a referral is likely to be seen by most as a favor that you’re doing to them. When the opportunity arises, they will be much more likely to return the favor. You will also be seen as someone who is easy to do business with.
Think back to your elementary school days. If someone brought toys from home and lent them to friends during recess, you would likely feel inclined to bring some of your own toys the next day. If you keep borrowing someone else’s toys and never give them anything in return, eventually they’re going to stop lending them out in the first place. That simple lesson, learned on the playground all those years ago, is definitely applicable to the world of business regardless of the field.
So, provide excellent products and services to your customers, keep your employees happy and help your business friends. This approach is sure to earn you referrals and goodwill.
About the Author: Bob Wolff is an accountant-turned-Channel Manager at BQE who helps to offer consulting and software solutions for BQE customers. He likes to share his business expertise here on the blog whenever he can.