Number One Secret to Getting Business Referrals
Posted: December 30, 2014
As professionals, we know much of our incoming business is based upon referrals. As consumers ourselves, we know how much more we are open to a friend or acquaintances recommendation rather than a sales cold call.
The key to gaining more business is founding our professional relationships on trust. A level of personal connection is often key in selecting a certain product or service. The trust in a product or service speaks volumes, much more than sales leads and advertising ever can.
Want referrals? Ok, here is the secret: just ask.
Sound simple? Well, it isn’t always.
Asking for referrals is often difficult because it requires just that: that we put ourselves out there and ask. Asking often receives a negative connotation as we do not wish to come across seeming pushy, needy, or used car salesman-like. We don’t want to risk the current business relationship with this request.
If we are truly offering a quality product or service to others, it’s time we put ourselves out there and start asking for referrals. Here are a few tips on how to begin asking confidently.
Shift Your Perspective
When we think about our business contacts as a web, we see how each person holds the potential to introduce us to many more contacts in their network.
We all know the importance of networking. Networking events are the perfect place to slip a referral reference into the conversation. Just be sure you’ve established some rapport before, and a simple inquiry is on topic.
Offer to return the favor, and of course, thank your referrer to maintain the business relationship after the event is over.
Make it a Habit
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your current contacts after your job well done to simply ask if they know of anyone who could benefit from your services. Be direct in your request, and be sure to thank them if you do receive business from their referrals.
Referrals only come to those who deserve them, so be sure to keep up the good work and watch them pour in. Most people are happy to pass on your name to others if they are satisfied with the services you provide.
Give and Take
What goes around comes around is especially true in business networks. Actively connect your contacts to one another at every opportunity, and offer referrals to others you do business with.
Many will be inspired to refer you to their own networks in kind, and will keep you at the top of mind when they see a need you can fulfill.
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