5 Clever Ways to Attract Referrals to Your Small Business
In this post we look at how to attract referrals to your small business. I’d be keen to hear your own strategies so please leave a comment at the end of this post.
If you’re operating in the local markets then customer referrals for small local businesses can be one of the main ways of getting repeat business. So if you’re just starting out, how do you attract referrals to your small business? Well, I will say two words: relationship building. These very two words are the foundations of attracting any kind of referrals to you especially when starting out.
Have you heard the saying about how people do business with people? It’s true! The following ways will help you to build and maintain your business relationships to help you attract referrals to your small business.
Attract referrals to your small business: Join a Club
There are certain networking clubs that only allow 2 to 3 of the same industries to join. These are ideal because they work on a referral basis. The key thing to remember here is it’s not who you know but who they know.
If you’re living in the local area of Shropshire I’d recommend INC.
Attract referrals to your small business: Ask Your Best Customers
If you’ve only had a client for a few weeks I’d hold off on asking for a referral just yet. Instead wait until you’ve done a great job – exceeded their expectations and then ask them do they know anyone that would benefit from your services?
I’d like to highlight ‘best customers’ because we all have clients who are more trouble than they’re worth but are our bread and butter. I wouldn’t recommend asking them for referrals only because it’s your target to attract best customers (if you get my gist?)
Attract referrals to your small business: Give Rewards
This doesn’t have to be in the form of money because I appreciate when you’re a small business, that’s not always do-able.
However, you can reward in other ways such as:
- Discounts – for every referral they give you, you give them 15% off their next service;
- Promotions – social media can be a great way to give a shout out;
- Referrals – if they give you a referral then you give them one back.
If you give a little then you get a lot back!
Attract referrals to your small business: Give a Referral
The one big way to get referrals is to give them yourself. Remember what I said about building relationships? This is a super way of doing that.
Also get used to the idea of giving referrals to ‘competitors’.
For example a friend of mine is involved in social media from strategy to management. She also has a colleague that does the same except for the management. This colleague has clients who request management and so she recommends my friend. She’s got no interest in taking over the management side yet she wants to keep her customers happy so she’ll outsource.
The same can be said for when you get too busy to take on anymore work or perhaps you don’t have all of the skills required. It’s better to leave someone with a recommendation instead of a flat no. It says a lot about you!
Attract Referrals to your Small Business: Educate Referral Sources
Once you’ve identified who your referral sources are – tell them what kind of clients that you’re after. This will save you a lot of time because you can then spend more time saying yes to appropriate prospects than no to those who you wouldn’t be able to work with.
Plus it’s a better use of time for others.
So, have a chat with your sources and ensure that they know who and what you’re looking for.
There is a great article about attracting referrals for your small businesses that I’d recommend you reading. Remember, if you’ve got any tips on how to attract referrals then please leave your comments at the end of this post.