A growing business needs referrals. But are you having a difficult time getting those referrals? If so, ask yourself this question: Why would someone refer people, who trust them, to you?
If you can’t answer that question quickly, REID ON. . .
Networking, asking for referrals, and even setting up a discount or gift incentive program for referrals won’t work if you haven’t laid the groundwork. Some ways to do this are:
- Make Others Look Good – To accomplish this goal, you need to look at each individual, you deal with in any way, as someone that you can help feel good about themselves and look good to others. If you start thinking “what can I do for you” instead of “what can I sell to you”, it becomes a mindset and a habit.
- Build and Maintain Trust – This doesn’t happen overnight and begins by keeping your promises. If you say, you are going to do something, make sure you do it. No one will make a referral to you if they don’t “trust” you to provide quality service and products. Building trust takes time but it can take just a few minutes to lose it.
- Provide an Experience – Don’t be like everyone else. We love to refer to businesses that realize that it’s not just about the product but about everything that makes that business unique — the marketing, the employees, how orders are processed, and everything else that creates the whole gift experience in one unique package.
- Provide Information – I bet you don’t like being referred to a sales pitch. Neither does anyone else. But if you can provide information that will help the potential customer get what they want and need, you’ll get a whole lot more referrals.
- Go beyond the expected– Add value to the price that the customer pays. Make the customer feel that he is getting his money’s worth and more. Exceeding expectations means that you have to know what is expected first. Consider who your customers are and what they want from you and then surprise them by going beyond those expectations. There may be times when you can’t even meet their expections. Those times are when you need to say “no”.
- Create a Unique Business that People Talk About – Word of mouth is important to any business. If you can create an inspirational story, a great product, an unusual way to market to or thank your customers, you have an edge over the other more boring businesses. Many folks think of videos, podcasts, internet social marketing as a way to do this — but it’s not. These are all marketing gimmicks that can be a small part of a whole program, but they aren’t enough. Think about it. What makes you unique? And it needs to be an authentic uniqueness — not just another gimmick. Then use that uniqueness to make people talk about you.
If you can do all the above, you will have a company that people will be honored to refer business to.