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Do you know how to get referrals for your small business?
You better find out - your income is depending on it!For
many small businesses, referrals are a very important part of getting
new business. Yet, how many small business owners have a plan in place
(and execute on it) that is designed for getting referrals on a
systematic basis, rather than just "hoping" that they come to you?The
good news is, there's a simple, easy system for getting referrals. Not
only CAN you do it, you MUST!How To Get Referrals!1)
Offer excellent service to your existing clients. Go
above-and-beyond what they pay you for and really try to impress them.
Satisfactory service isn't referral-worthy, amazing service is.Take the extra time to put them in touch with a referral for their
business.Don't just mow the lawn, rake up the flower beds, too.If you're a CPA, offer to look over their personal financials (not
just their business ones) at no extra charge and see if you can spot
anywhere for them to improve.Spend some time chatting off the clock, to find out how their
family is doing.2) Say "Thanks For Your
Business" in a noteworthy manner. How could you "surprise"
someone in a way they're not expecting and - ideally - a way that they
would gain public notice, without breaking the bank? HHere
are some clever ideas for how to get referrals when you say thanks: Send roses, a fruit basket, or brownies to work where they will sit
out on the desk and everyone will ask, "Who are those from?" Send a funny or amusing photo card featuring THEM. They will
likely stick it on their bulletin board or refrigerator. Go Viral! Offer to send something out for them. Example: Realtor
sends a "change of address" card to friends and family from their
client's address book. Sports tickets for you, them, and a few of their closest business
contacts that THEY get to invite. 3) Ask
for the referral. If you don't ask, your clients might not
think to send you a referral. At the time that they're most happy with
your service (they just found out they have no cavities, they just got
the check from selling their house, they just saved some money on their
car insurance :))... That is the best time to ask for referrals. They
will feel happy and indebted to you and be willing to spend some time
thinking about who else might need your help. You can start out with a
general search and then mention a few specifics to help them keep
thinking... "Do you know anyone at the gym, at church, at your civic
club, etc. who might need their carpets cleaned?" Then you can add in a
few topical memory joggers, "Sometimes when people are having family
over for vacation or holidays, they want to spruce up the house.
Sometimes if they're thinking about moving, or want to rent out a
property, they need to spruce it up." And finally offer them an
incentive, "Thanks for all your work thinking this through with me, I
know you'll think of even more people after you I go home. That's good,
keep thinking because for every person you refer I offer you a free
upgrade to the carpet deep-clean at your next appointment, or a $25 gift
certificate to Outback Steakhouse... your choice!"4) Follow
up, follow up, follow up. Although the best time to focus on
getting referrals is at the client's peak of enthusiasm for your
project, it's always a good idea to keep in touch with them. A simple
drip email campaign - or better yet - a telephone or greeting card
campaign - can remind them that they care about you, and trigger their
memory when it comes to offering referrals.One of the most
important things to remember when you plan your strategy for how to get
referrals is to keep focused on your client's perspective. It's easy to
think me-me-me and that's the death of referral marketing. Minimize your
self-promotional attitude when it comes to asking for referrals. Focus
on building up your client through genuine service and recognition.
(They remember not what you say, but how you make them feel.) If you
make your clients feel good, they are MUCH more likely to send their
friends and family to you for the same treatment.
If you don't have all the referrals you want or need, perhaps
you need a referral
marketing system to keep you on track.Get more leads and
sales with more passion and less selling. Learn how to get
more referrals with less time and expense!