Getting high-quality business referrals really only requires a bit of research and a healthy dose of determination. If you have grown a small business, that tough work should have you well prepared to take on the task of gathering referrals. The sales element of your company is a time-consuming task that requires you to constantly refill your sales funnel with new, qualified prospects. Finding the best qualified leads and business referrals will not come from a cold contact situation as much as they will come from building a strong system of business referrals.
7 Strategies to Build a Business Referrals System
Set a Target or Goal – In any business, goals should be set to help drive and improve performance. Set clear goals with a designated time line. Let your employees and customers know your goal and if possible, provide a nice discount reward across the board when you reach that goal.
Perfect Your Timing – While conventional sales wisdom says that the best time to ask for business referrals is immediately after a close, many see this tactic as more than a bit aggressive. Allow your customers to have time to experience what you have to offer before asking them to refer you to their network.
Top of the List – Not all of your customers are going to be ecstatic about your products or services. Find the top 20 or 30 percent who are and ask them for business referrals. Look at the network of those at the top too; are their networks the same as what you want for your business?
Give Ahead of Time – Do not limit your business rewards to referrals alone. Give your customers or clients an extra service or follow-up before asking them to refer you to others. When you give willingly and without requirements, they will be more likely to return the favor.
Target Customer Types – Make sure your referral network understands the types of customers or clients you are searching for. Provide everyone on your team with a clear set of demographics to help with your business referral marketing campaigns.
Rewards Program Support – Provide your customers and clients with special rewards when they refer new customers. Making these rewards scalable can cause your best referrers to turn into active advertisers for your business.
Appreciation – If you forgo this vital element you may as well have ignored all of the others. Without showing regular appreciation to your current customers, showering your new customers with rewards does little good. Send out regular messages or rewards of thanks for those who have stuck by your business.
While these tips are simple, they all reflect one serious issue that comes with the responsibility of business ownership and management, building trust. Make sure that while new customers and clients know how much you appreciate their business, your regular customers also know that you haven’t forgotten them. With a bit of trial-and-error, every business can find the most efficient business referral system to match their needs.
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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