Referrals. Small businesses don’t seem to like asking for them – they think it makes them sound a little desperate! If you don’t like asking for referrals it’s time to turn your thinking around.
Consider yourself. Do you like giving referrals?
Of course you do.
Giving a referral to someone means you have helped them out. I’m dying for someone to ask me if I know a good physio, chiro, masseuse (see a pattern here?!) or good finance guys or a good mechanic. Because I can recommend some truly great people who do all these jobs. And if I can recommend a provider to you who fits a need you have, you’ll be eternally grateful. Right?
So when you have done a good job for a client, you should never balk at asking for a referral. Remember, you are making the referrer a useful person to their network of contacts. The business you are in will dictate the level to which you can incentivise and systemise a referral program (think graphic designer vs a retailer) but in short, every single business could and should have a referral system of some description. The best prospects for your business are people who have been referred to you by a happy client.
The next time you are chatting to a client who is pleased with the job you have done, give them a couple of business cards and mention that you’d be happy to assist anyone they know could use your services. It really is as easy as that!
Want to explore this topic further? John Jantsch’s book “The Referral Engine” is a great read about this subject, full of real life case studies to stimulate your thinking.