Having people refer business to you can be very powerful, and many businesses seem to have lost the art of getting referrals.
In fact, if you think about it, LinkedIn is a referral system. The power in the referral is that a tiny bit of credibility of the person referring you goes with that person.
I have seen entire businesses built on referrals, and below are the top five ways I have seen people get referrals to help build their business.
- Contact your best customers. Your best customer probably has some relationship with you. They might not be your best buddy, but they should at least know your name and have a sense of who you are.Tell them you are enjoyed solving their problem or doing business with them and do they know anyone who you might be of service to. This works best if you can do this in person or over the phone.
- Offer some kind of discount or preferential service if they recommend your product or service. For example, you might have a Gold membership for something and if that person recommends someone, then they get bumped to a Diamond member.You could also offer them a discount on their next meal/order/program they buy if they recommend you to their friends.
- Most businesses don’t exist as an island. They are connected to suppliers, professionals and a whole host of other people. Ask them for referrals. Tell them you will do the same for them if it’s appropriate.
- If someone sends you a testimonial, or a makes a comment or “likes” you, ask them if they think you could be of service to someone else that might benefit.
- Double holiday referral strategy. A lot of businesses run specials for holiday promotions, like Black Friday. Why not offer a double or triple discount if they refer a friend for that special promotion.
- Network. Get involved in person or online. Go to networking events. Sure, some of them can be a pitch fest, but some can be really good. The beauty of a networking event is that you gain a little credibility just by being at the event.
No referral system will work unless you build it into a consistent way of doing business. It has to become part of your business.
If you offer a great service or product, there will always be people who will be happy to share their experience with other people.
Let me know if you use referrals in your business or if you have heard of other ways to get referrals.