When you are in sales, no matter what type, referrals are a major source of business, and a great way to gauge your value in the marketplace.
The most popular and common ways to build a referral network is through:
- Current or former clients
- Family, friends and colleagues
- Networking groups
- Social Media
And then what…?
First and foremost, be good at what you do: return calls promptly, answer questions patiently, educate your client, know your industry, and provide high-quality customer service. If you do all of these things you will develop a reputation worthy of being talked about-and referred! Remember, your referral sources want to feel good about referring you, and make sure the person they refer will feel good, too.
Which brings up another important activity: Thank your referral partners when they do refer you. Again, people want to feel good about referring you, so make sure they do! A simple phone call will do.
Volunteer-join a board, give your services to an organization, or simply show up to volunteer consistently. You will expand your network while doing something that makes you, and others, feel good.
Be a good referrer! The more you are able to refer others, the more they should refer you, if you are doing a quality job. It feels good to do for others, and makes them more inclined to do for you.
If you are not receiving referrals, find out why. And that does not mean accosting someone and accusing them of not referring you and demanding answers. Start by asking what they look for in someone they refer, how they go about recommending someone, and what if anything you can do to become one of their ”go to” referrals. It could simply be that they are not educated enough about what you do, or needed a gentle reminder that you do rely on referrals for your business. And always remember to ask how you can help them, too.
Bottom line, when people feel good about you, and how you make them feel, they will be more likely to refer you.