If you rely heavily on referrals to grow your business, don’t hesitate to devote more time and energy to this aspect of your sales and marketing strategy.
Get this: 90 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.
For this reason, there’s nothing better than word of mouth advertising. Not only does it work, but it doesn’t cost you a dime.
As a service professional, such as an accountant, the right referral strategy can be the difference between success and failure.
Fortunately, even though this sounds challenging, developing a high quality strategy can be a simple task. Here are five steps you can take to generate more referrals for your business:
1. Make it Easy for Others to Refer You
Simply put, if you don’t take care of your current clients you shouldn’t expect them to pass your name along to others.
Instead, you’ll soon learn two things:
- These people won’t be your clients for long, as they’ll find somebody who offers better service.
- These people will talk poorly about you to others, thus harming your ability to grow your business.
When you provide high quality service, you give others a reason to refer you.
2. Use LinkedIn
Rather than sit back and hope that people in your network refer you to others, take matters into your own hands.
LinkedIn allows you to do just that. The process is simple:
- Connect with your clients on LinkedIn.
- Identify prospects in their network.
- Ask for an introduction.
An active strategy goes a long way in generating more referrals (without the wait).
3. Provide Assistance
As you know, other business professionals are every bit as busy as you. This means one thing: they don’t have a lot of time to devote to referrals.
However, you can ease the time commitment by providing assistance.
For instance, provide an email template your client can use to make an introduction. This way, they don’t have to spend time creating an email each time they want to pass your name along. Instead, they can edit the template and hit send.
4. Give a Referral
One of the best ways to get more referrals is to give more referrals.
Don’t take, take, take without giving something in return. Make it your goal to hand out as many referrals as possible in the next week (or month). From there, you may be surprised at how many people return the favor.
There’s nothing more to it than that.
Are you shy about asking for referrals? Don’t be. When you have a good relationship with a customer, you should feel comfortable asking for referrals every now and again.
This isn’t to say you should ask for referrals on a regular basis. That being said, if you are aware that a particular client has a large network, don’t hesitate to let him or her know that you’re growing your business and any referrals would be appreciated.
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask in order to receive.