Gaining a new referral or lead may be the single best source for future sales for any business. Not only do referrals happen mostly in organic fashions, but those relationships start out with an increased level of trust and expectations that are entirely positive. Someone has referred them; someone has spoken for you and your products or services. You have already made a friend, you have little to do but follow through and meet their expectations and your chances of earning a customer for life are high. So how do you generate these referrals? How can we make them happen?
There are a few things a business can do to gain referrals.
Be Referable – If you are not very good at what you do, are not very reliable, are unpredictable, are overpriced, or even just not very likeable, you may have a problem getting referrals. You need to be a source of comforting or soothing feelings that represent your product or services. If others don’t trust you, you won’t be referred.
Share with Family and Friends – It seems such an easy thing to do; however, it is often overlooked. Make sure all of your friends and family know what you are doing, how you are doing it, and where. Then ask them for support by any means they can offer. Whether it is a simple like on a social media platform, or word-of-mouth advertising for your business, it can help. Don’t forget this vital opportunity.
Tell Your Neighbors – Create some flyers and place them nicely where they will be seen. Try not to put them inconvenient or illegal places. No tucking under the windshield wiper or stuffing in the letter carrier’s box. If you have to, knock on doors and hand them to your neighbor directly. In this day and age, many people are trying to build their own communities by buying local, make sure the locals know what you have to offer.
Get a Blog Up – If you are serious about gathering referrals to your business products or services, make a simple blog that describes what you have to offer, and if possible, offer a discount. Add this blog URL to your flyers, business cards, or even your businesses front door to help generate referrals in this digital age.
Post a Classified – Post a classified in your local paper if your business is geo-related. And even if it is, you can still head to the free classified ad sites and generate some referrals from those as well. Take the time, or hire a contractor to keep your ads flowing, updated and relevant. Soon you will begin to see referrals that come from these locations.
Advertise While You Travel – Have a magnet made for your automobile. Make sure the information on this magnet is easy to read and easy to remember. People will be seeing it at high rates of speed. If you have a difficult to remember business name, online or off, make sure you come up with a catchy, and short, call-to-action in this limited advertising space. But never forget those who may see your add in parking lots or at other stops. For them, be sure to include the businesses phone number or full website.
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture and Referral Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture and Referral relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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