In this presentation, you'll learn about 25 ways to generate powerful, high-quality referrals for your business. Want to learn more? Visit us at: http://www.raintoday.com/
25 Ways to Get ReferralsSales & Marketing Resources To Help Grow Your Professional Services Business
Create a referral program with complimentary service providers to exchange referrals.
Be sure you only include providers in this network that you’d be comfortable recommending to your best client or friend.
Recognize and thank your referral sources.This could be with a simple phone call, email, or even better – a handwritten note. The important thing is to express your appreciation. You’ll also encourage additional referrals this way.
If you have clients who don’t or can’t refer,
Create another way for them to recommend your services
(e.g., case study, testimonial). © RainToday.com
I once worked for a large organization that prohibited written testimonials and discouraged referrals; however, I was able to provide recommendations by phone for vendors with which I worked.
Two vendors I worked with took advantage of this opportunity and closed several deals by having select high-value prospects speak with me.
RainToday.com-Mary Flaherty, RAIN Group
Include a “Referrals Appreciated” blurb in your print or email newsletter.
Be sure to describe what an ideal referral looks like for you.
Also in your email newsletter, include a request:
“If you got value from this article, please share it with your network (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).”
Add icons and links that make it easy to share content.
Add to your email signature: Referrals Appreciated.
Add a “Referrals Appreciated” or “By Referral Only” tagline to your business card.
Make sure your current clients know about the services you offer so they can either refer within their company or to others they know.
Too often providers assume their clients know more about them than they do.
If you’re a market research firm and a client uses only your online survey research services, for example, make sure they know about your intercept interview service or focus group capabilities.
Add a link to a form on your website for referral submissions.
Proactively refer people to other businesses that have a clientele similar to yours.Let those businesses know you’ve done so and that you’d appreciate the same.
Be remarkable; remind clients why your service is special.Give them something (good) to talk about.
12 Inspire confidence.It’s risky referring someone – what if it’s not successful? You can inspire confidence in your referral sources by letting them know that 80% (or whatever) of your business comes from repeat customers.
13 Offer an affiliate program.
14 Offer a guarantee.This is another way to inspire confidence (see #12).
15Provide valuable content your referral sources can share with their networkAn invitation to an event on an industry topic, research briefs, an article about a regulatory change or industry trend, etc. Make it something special for them to share.
Treat the vendors and suppliers with which you do business as partners.
Make sure they’re aware of who you help and the services you provide.
17 Update your LinkedIn profile.Include the link to your profile in your email newsletter or website to make it easy for referral sources to share. Include it in your email signature with the note, “Please feel free to forward my profile to others you feel would benefit from my services.”
18 Create a list of prospects you want to work with.
Check out their LinkedIn profiles to see whether you’re connected in any way. If so, reach out to them via your network – whether it’s an individual, a company, or a group.
Create a referral program for current clients where they receive some type of reward or recognition for the new business they refer.
John Jantsch gives an example of an accounting firm that created a “100% Refund” offer where its tax preparation clients received four coded business cards.
Clients who referred new clients could receive a refund of up to 100% of their tax preparing fee – 25% for each card that was turned in to the firm by a new client.
If you generate traffic from Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks, reach out to your online networks and request referrals.
Don’t forget: On Twitter, you can ask your followers to retweet to their networks.
21 Be helpful in forums.There are many stories of helpful people getting business just from the goodwill they create from helping on Twitter, LinkedIn, and provide in online communities.
22 Treat your customers as partners, too.Let them know you view them as a strategic partner, and tell them you hope they’ll do the same with you. Create formal channels to share referrals.
Educate referral sources so they know what an ideal referral looks like.
Sarah Arrow of Same Day Courier Services lets people know their ideal referrals are blue chip companies looking to deliver airfreight and time-sensitive components.
They don’t deliver small packages like nuts and bolts unless they are worth more than $5,000.
Give your raving fans the tools they need to refer you.
Johan Taft had people tell him they wanted to refer him, but they didn’t know how to explain what he does.
So, he created a website for referrals and testimonials. He has a link to it in his email signature, and he gives copies of the PDF document posted there to people who are interested in referring him.
GIVE a referral. It’s one of the best ways to get one in return.
This is just a start.
Let these suggestions jump-start your own idea generation. Create a referral process that works for your ideal clients and your networks.
Be referable. Focus on your ideal clients. Tap into your networks in a proactive way. By putting a referral system into place now, you are more likely to receive quality referrals throughout the year.
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