The primary way that most gain new business is through referrals and that’s probably just something that is not going to change.
It really just depends on how people are finding you over time.
It may be such that your digital marketing efforts are outweighing many of the other kinds of efforts that you do, but as you continually improve your customer satisfaction ratings and you help more happy customers, your business is going to pretty naturally grow through a referral sort of mechanism that happens on its own.
There are ways to structure it intentionally, yes, but for the most part this happens on its own and is a beautiful thing.
So I want to share with you just a quick, four-step process that I use in my business to get more referrals and I think will be helpful for you as well.
The first thing you have to do is deliver
So you have to actually deliver a product that is worth being referred to.
Now in some cases, you might be tempted to think the product is you. And the fact is that the product is not you.
The product is the transformation that you help your clients to achieve and you have to deliver on that transformation in a way that is worthy of being referred to.
Yes, people are ultimately referring to you, but what they are referring is the opportunity to have the same transformation that they had.
So make sure you are delivering on that.
Deliver on the promises that you make to your prospects to help them achieve the transformation that you think you can.
The second part of the process is to devote time and attention
Why? Because as we often say, everything is marketing.
I cannot stress this enough. Everything is marketing.
So careful time and attention must be devoted to your clients when it comes to making sure that they have everything that they need to succeed. So yes, deliver on the product so to speak, but make sure that you’re also devoting time care, customer service, etc., to them.
Make them feel great! Make them feel loved as your client.
This is a step that a lot of people miss, but what you want to to do is find a way, maybe through acquiring a case study or something of that nature, to get your client’s thoughts on the work that you have done together, or the transformation that you have worked to accomplish together.
You know, my business involves web design and marketing, and when I close out a project, I always send a debrief from my perspective of the project, which is followed up by a quick questionnaire that my clients can answer about how they think the project went.
I ask in there if it would be okay that I use some of that information that they provide in my marketing materials, and I use that to create the case studies that you’ll find on our website. For the most part they were created using that exact system.
Make sure that if you are closing out the relationship or that you’re closing out a particular phase of the relationship or season of the relationship, you are debriefing appropriately and gaining whatever ground you can from the perspective of getting some referrals.
Finally, you simply must dare to ask for them
That is, you want to dare to actually ask, do you have somebody in your life, in your contacts right now that you think could use my services? And in the debrief that I do, I actually ask them this question directly: “Could one or two people whose name and number you can give me right now benefit from the services that we offer?”
Is this bold? Absolutely.
But again, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in the product that you are offering, if you believe that there is real transformation to be had as a result of working with you, then I think it’s your moral duty, frankly, to ask for more sales and for more people to help.
If you truly know that you have something that can help somebody move to the next step, take the next step in their lives, overcome that thing that they’re fighting, that thing that they’re dealing with in their life, then it’s your obligation, I think, to help more people and to be persistent in finding ways to ask more people.
Dare to ask for those referrals.
- First you deliver. Make sure you are delivering on your transformational product. You’re in the transformation business.
- Second, make sure you devote time, care, and attention through customer service processes and things of that nature.
- Then, debrief. Make sure at the end of your engagements or at the end of a phase or season of your engagements that you are appropriately debriefing and asking clients for information that will help you to gain more referrals.
- Finally, dare to ask for them. Actually move in and ask for one or two people in your current client’s network that you could also have the opportunity to help and share in their transformation.
We’d love the opportunity to help you develop a referral system in your business. Reach out today to start the conversation.
To your success!